What Is It?
The Schulich Leader Scholarships are 50 undergraduate STEM scholarships. They are awarded to students who are entrepreneurial-minded and enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math program at 20 partner universities across Canada.
Twenty-five of the scholarships are valued at $100,000 for engineering scholarships and the other twenty-five are valued at $80,000 for science and math.
The application due date for this year’s high school nominees is February 17, 2021. Before that, high schools must submit their nominee by January 27, 2021.
Once you are nominated, the application requires a list of universities you wish to attend, your top three achievements, 600-word essay on why you should win, short answer to identify where you see yourself in 10 years, two single-page letters of reference, a copy of your up-to-date transcript, and a headshot profile image.
In order to apply, you must be graduating high school or CEGEP in Canada and you must be a permanent resident. Additionally, you must meet at least two of the following requirements: academic excellence, leadership (community, business or entrepreneurial), and financial need. Applicants should not be planning a career in medical research or as a medical practitioner.
If this scholarship sounds pretty new to you, you are not alone. It launched in 2011 with the inaugural class of recipients in 2012. Since the name is ‘Schulich’, some people may confuse this scholarship as being only accessible to York University students, since ‘Schulich’ is the name of the York University Business School. The good news is that it’s open to just about everyone, as long as you have an interest in and partake in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math.
Even though it is a new scholarship, it is targeting a group of students with a bright future — demonstrating a passion for innovation. A scholarship like this acts as another motivator for students practicing leadership in school, which allows their achievements to stand out.
Winner Profile: Shahed Saleh
What led you to receive this scholarship?
I’m a dreamer, an artist, and a future engineer. As a first-year Mechatronics Engineering Honours student at the University of Waterloo, I am humbled to have won the Schulich Leader Scholarship. I believe that this award doesn’t represent the initiatives I worked on, but rather the impact made on the students of the teams and events I was a part of. It was through the support of my family, friends, peers, teachers, and guidance counselor that I was able to apply for the scholarship.
How were you able to demonstrate leadership in the past?
Leadership is the ability to weave in the ideas of everyone on your team into a tapestry that becomes the solution. I have been given opportunities to grow as a leader and learn from my peers on FRC team 4903, Windsor’s Mayor’s Youth Leadership Team, and CodeReach. Such opportunities taught me that a great leader is one who can understand and bring out the strengths of each member, resulting in a team that is passionate, focused, and empowered to make positive change.
If leadership is an understanding of others, then academic excellence is an understanding of oneself. It is the discipline to map out and conquer the next steps for improvement. Additionally, it’s a mental balance between one’s desires and viewpoint of reality. Celebrating the achievement of small goals, recognizing skills that can be developed further and loving myself for who I am has allowed me to reach what I believe is personal academic excellence.
What has led you to enroll in a STEM-related program at your chosen university?
I have enjoyed exploring engineering because it represents a hodgepodge of disciplines that come together to solve real-word physical problems. As a student that enjoys most subjects, I found that STEAM-based projects allow me to express my technical and creative selves harmoniously. That is when I know my work is authentic and impactful. Thus, I hope to grow as a creator at UWaterloo’s Mechatronics Engineering Honours program!
What has been the most memorable experience(s) throughout your academic career?
Finding support through family, friends, teachers or community leaders is very important to become an empowered student. I can think back to a time when I couldn’t find support for a robotics initiative I was proposing to my lead mentors. Initially, I felt defeated but realized through my teammates that my idea is only as powerful as the confidence I place in it. Long story short, that idea blossomed into STEM DAY Windsor — an event where over 130 elementary school students are introduced to various engineering disciplines through workshops. Such an event was the result of the confidence my teammates and I placed in our potential to make an impact on our city’s youth.
What is the #1 goal you hope to accomplish?
In ten years, I hope to be contributing to the global robotics industry. More importantly, I wish to continue representing inclusive engineering by inspiring the youth of all backgrounds to explore the STEAM field!
Is there any advice you would like to share?
My main piece of advice to any student who wishes to make a large impact is to never be afraid to take a step back. Often times, we become so consumed by our perspectives or deadlines that we need to be reminded of why we do what we do. Once you have your own mission statement in your head, you will be empowered to take on whatever obstacles come your way.