Yorkton Regional High School student Connor Watrych has been awarded a major scholarship.
Watrych was one of 88 students travelling to Toronto the weekend of Feb. 2, to interview in the final selection process for the Loran Scholarship Foundation.
When he arrived home the telephone rang Sunday, where he learned he was one of 36 to be awarded the multi-faceted scholarship valued at $100,000, to cover four years of undergraduate studies.
“I was super, super excited. I was kind of at a loss for words,” said the Grade 12 student.
Watrych said having spent time with the 88 nominees, he knew it would be a difficult decision for those making the decision.
“I think everybody there was deserving,” he said.
The final interview process in Toronto mimicked the regional one Watrych had already undergone, adding much of the focus was on how the nominees felt they were a good fit for the award.
In that regard, the award is about more than providing the 36 recipients with an education, said Watrych.
“The goal is to build leaders for the future. They see it as an investment,” he said.
To build the foundation for those leaders the award offers more than post-secondary education.
Recipients are expected to spend three summer internships, one in a province different from their home province, or where they attend school, and one summer abroad, explained Watrych.
The internships must be diverse as well, covering policy development one year, and working with a non-profit another.
As part of the award Watrych said recipients are also matched with mentors at whatever university they attend.
“I think the coolest part is mentor,” he said, adding their role incudes helping the recipients get involved in the school and community, in addition to helping in general with adapting to university.
This summer the recipients will also gather at Algonquin Park in Ontario for some team building.
“We’ll be living out of backpacks and canoeing through the park,” said Watrych.
At present Watrych is not sure where he will attend university although McMaster and the University of British Columbia are topping his list at present.
“I want to study biochemistry with hopes of getting into medicine after that,” he said.
Watrych was one of four recipients from Saskatchewan. The others were; Kaiden Thompson from Indian Head, Kylie Flynn from Saskatoon, and Sabah Sharif from Regina.
Those interviewed, but not among the 36 recipients were still eligible for a $5,000 finalist award.
Watrych was most recently given the youth Citizen Recognition Award by the city of Yorkton and was the quarterback of the Provincial Championship winning YRHS Raider Gridders.