The Ultimate Guide To Winning A Terry Fox Humanitarian Award


Want to crush your application and interview by winning a Terry Fox Humanitarian Award? There’s $28,000 up for grabs (and major bragging rights). 

  • Scholarship Value: $28,000
  • Application Deadline: February 1st 
  • Who Can Apply: Students graduating high school, finished high school, or completing their first year of CÉGEP
  • Where To Apply: Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Website 

If you’re a good human that’s DTW the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, you’ve come to the right place (and if you’re wondering what DTW is, it means ‘down to win’. I made it up just now, but let’s make it a thing). 

Before you kick off your application process, you should consider one primary question: WWTD? In other words, what would Terry do

Remember, the purpose of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award is to honor Terry’s mission to revolutionize cancer research and awareness while creating a drive in Canadian youth to seek the ideals that he embodied, through post-secondary education. 

So, adopting a Terry-like mindset would be a great place to start. That means, exploring some of the parallel ways you and Terry succeed in the face of adversity, excel in amateur sport or fitness, and demonstrate a commitment to humanitarian service.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know to crush your application: 

Who should apply to the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award? 

For starters, an eligible candidate should speak to the following: 

  1. A strong academic performance.
  2. Canadian citizen or landed immigrant status.
  3. Graduating high school, finished high school, or completing your first year of CÉGEP.
  4. You must be enrolled in or planning to enroll in your first university degree or diploma at a Canadian post-secondary institution, or entering 2nd year of CÉGEP in the upcoming academic year.
  5. Involvement in voluntary humanitarian activities (this may include but is not limited to: volunteering at shelters, participating in nonviolent protest against an injustice to human rights, or even starting your own humanitarian initiatives).

If you feel that the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award’s requirements reflect your actions and ambitions, you may be a suitable candidate for the award. 

Let’s keep going. 

Where can I apply for the award? 

This one’s easy. You can apply to the award directly on the Terry Fox Humanitarian Program’s website. Simply register with the Terry Fox Humanitarian Program, and click on your Application Dashboard. There you will find your application number and a chart outlining all the necessary components. 

When should I begin my application process? 

Give yourself a bit of a buffer and begin your application a few weeks to a month in advance of the deadline: February 1st. 

For a few reasons.

You’ll likely want to start your application process by submitting your reference requests. Your contacts are busy bees and may need some time to complete them. Plus, starting with the reference portion of the application will give you extra time in case of any complications or obstacles. Remember, your references should be people that can attest to your character, work ethic, and motives. Though we have no doubts that Mom and Dad would give you stellar references, your referees cannot be related to you

After sending your requests, you’ll want to brainstorm and draft the ideas you’d like to showcase in your personal essay. Starting early will give you a bigger time margin to read your essay over, edit it, and get feedback from your peers or family members.

PRO TIP: reading your essay out loud to yourself and others (or reading your essay backward) will help you spot any mistakes and grammatical errors. 

Though a time-crunch can be a serious motivator, try not to submit your application moments before the deadline. Writing a masterpiece essay and having your computer crash moments before the deadline would be a major buzz-kill.  So, make sure you submit your application using a steady web browser and with enough time to spare in case there’s any digital emergencies. 

NOTE: if you submit your application after the deadline of February 1st, the program will not hold onto it for the following year. In which case, you’ll need to resubmit when the application opens again in November. 

Can I re-apply to the Award if I was unsuccessful in my first attempt? 

Applying again is no biggie. 

You can submit another application if you lucked out the first time around. However, you must update your previous application with new content addressing some of your accomplishments or highlights since your last submission. 

How can I best prepare for the interview?

Prepping for the interview (any interview, really) can feel a lot like prepping for a first date. 

*How do I recover from uncontrollable word vomit? How long should I wait before following up? Is it normal that I want to be their main priority after meeting simply one time?* 

I mean, let’s face it. You’re athletic, smart and involved with the community. You’re a total catch, worthy of love and $28,000! 

But, we get it. Pitching all the ways you’re equipped for greatness can be intimidating, especially if you’re convinced the ball is entirely in someone else’s court. 

Fret not. We’re here to help boost your confidence and gain more control over the interview process. 

1. Research the program.  

I have done the research
winning a terry fox humanitarian award

What are the missions, visions, and values of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Program? What did the profiles look like of previous winners? And what is the history, role, and impact of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Program/Award? How do your experiences compare to Terry’s spirit? 

These are just some questions to help guide your research. Having a holistic understanding of the program’s intentions will help you create a framework to prep some hypothetical answers.  

2. Dress to impress.

Showing up to an interview looking like Shia Lebouf circa 2014 won’t help your cause. When it comes to dressing for an interview, present the most polished version of your personal brand and self-identity. In the case of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Program, the interviewers will want to see that you present yourself in a way that reflects the high ideals of the program, while still showcasing your individuality. 

When in doubt, a classic blazer and dark jeans should do the trick. It’s a happy balance of sophistication and approachability. 

3. Mirror the interviewer’s communication style.

Formal? Casual? Whatever tone your interviewer sets at the start of the interview is what you should aim to mirror, as that is the tone they are likely expecting in return. 

4. Always answer with something.  

winning a terry fox humanitarian award "i still don't know"

Ever been completely blindsided in an interview? Worry not. 

Most people never think to do this, but try bringing a water bottle into the interview room with you. If an interviewer asks a question that throws you off your game, take a sip of water. It will give you an extra few seconds to whip up a hail mary response. 

Second, if your interviewer asks a situational question like “tell me about a time when” and you can’t think of anything, that’s okay. Simply outline what you would do if you were ever faced with that scenario IRL. That way, you can safely avoid the awkward “uuhhhhh, uhmmm… uh, okay, so” while demonstrating to the interviewer that you understand what the appropriate response would look like. 

5. Make your interviewer do some of the work. 

I can see how this point would be controversial, but hear me out. 

The expectation is that you, a gentle student, have come to the interview prepared to impress. The interviewer also expects that you have prepared questions of your own which will show interest and enthusiasm. So have fun with it!

This is your opportunity to shift some of the pressure. Plus, even if you don’t win the scholarship, you’ll gain practical interview skills while observing how people in positions of authority handle the spotlight. 

You could ask things like: “what would the profile of an ideal winner look like?” or “I understand that ______ received this award last year. What aspects of their profile stood out?” These questions will set you up perfectly to relate some of your talents to the vision of an ideal candidate. 

What can I expect in the interview?  

If you have been selected to participate in the April interviews, the panel of interviewers will likely include Terry Fox Humanitarian scholars, alumni, and associates of the program. 

As far as the questions go, it’s hard to say. 

We know the panel will want to get a feel for who you are and what you represent as it relates to Terry’s spirit. You’ll probably want to consider what humanitarianism means or looks like to you, and how you reflect that meaning in your work/service. You’ll want to think about the implications of your work, whether that be on a local or global scale and perhaps some of the obstacles you have faced. Also, consider some of the ways higher education would influence your approach to humanitarian service and your ability to generate new but informed solutions to any challenges or obstacles.

We hope this advice was helpful. Good luck with your applications! We know you’ll crush it. For an idea of what previous Terry Fox Humanitarian Award winners are like, read “Terry Fox Humanitarian Award: This Is What A Winner Looks Like.”

Looking for more ways to make student stuff easier? yconic is all about preparing Canadian students, like yourself, and your parents for college and university. That means matching you with the right school, helping with tuition costs and providing advice on how to live your best post-secondary life. 

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