The Loran Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards in Canada, awarding a small group of outstanding Canadian students each year with $100,000 to pursue their undergraduate studies. We talked to one of the 2020 winners, Kaiden Thompson from Indian Head High School in Indian Head, SK about what he thought his chances to win a Loran Scholarship were, his numerous accomplishments, and his disbelief at winning.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m involved in a variety of activities in my school and community as well as having leadership roles in many of them. In my school, I co-founded the Gay-Straight Alliance, I am the stage manager of the drama club, editor of the yearbook, executive of the student representative council, and youth representative of the school community council. In my community, I volunteer my time as a youth rep on my local theatre’s event planning board, as a volunteer in Communities in Bloom, and as a technical operator in community theatre. I’m passionate about bringing artistic opportunities to our community’s youth and to the larger community, along with social and environmental activism.
What was your reaction when you found out that you were named a 2020 Loran Scholar?
I was in disbelief—I didn’t think I even stood a chance at receiving the award. Then that disbelief turned to gratefulness and excitement when I realized how many doors have now opened for me and how many new opportunities I had.
What is the most meaningful leadership experience you’ve had so far?
The most meaningful leadership experience I’ve had so far is as the stage manager of my school’s drama club. I’m glad to have the opportunity to bring theatrical arts to our community and to help instil an appreciation for theatre in students.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I’m motivated to give back to my community by thinking back on all the opportunities and experiences that I was offered by my community. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to pay it forward and improve the lives of other people in my community, just like they have done for me in the past.
What part of the Loran program are you most looking forward to?
I’m most looking forward to the summer internships, the “real world” work will be very valuable in gaining experience and expanding my horizons.
What are you most looking forward to about university? What do you hope to get involved in there?
I’m most looking forward to meeting new people living in a different part of Canada with new opportunities and options. At university, I hope to get involved in undergraduate research projects, social activism clubs, and maybe even some intramural sports.
What advice do you have for other students applying for the Loran Award or any other scholarship?
I know this has been said over and over again but be yourself. The Loran Scholars Foundation wants to get to know who you truly are as a person and what motivates you, not a meticulously crafted version of yourself that you think they’ll like. Be unapologetically you.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope to be working in an innovative field of science related to my specialization in university (maybe even after getting a Master’s or PhD), like genetic engineering or biotechnology. I would like to be working in a position that will help me use biological processes and mechanics to improve medicine, health, and everyday life.
What’s one fun fact about yourself? Is there anything else you want to share?
I work at a movie theatre and an ice cream shop!
You will be working in three different sectors during the summers between school. What kind of summer experiences do you hope to pursue?
I hope to pursue some experiences that will relate to my career field and help me gain experience for the future, but I also hope to pursue experiences in humanitarian and social activism efforts that will help bring me new perspectives and improve life for people around the world.
Applications for the 2021 Loran Award are now open! The Loran Scholars Foundation looks for students who demonstrate strength of character, a commitment to service, and leadership potential. To learn more about the Loran Award and how you can apply for it visit https://loranscholar.ca/becoming-a-scholar/ and/or join one of their webinars.