Getting a scholarship helps students achieve their dream of attending post-secondary school, but getting a six-figure scholarship opens a whole new set of academic doors.
And that is exactly what is happening for one Windsor high school student.
Shahad Saleh is a Grade 12 student at Vincent Massey secondary school, where she’s the first student at the South Windsor school ever to receive such an honour.
"Three weeks ago I was fortunate enough to get an email from the University of Waterloo," says Saleh. “A lot of students pursuing engineering or STEM, which is science, technology, engineering or math related fields try aiming for these scholarships, especially those who have done some work in the community."
The 18-year-old is one of the lucky few to receive a six-figure scholarship. Twenty-fire scholarships, valued at $100,000 are given out annually for engineering.
"There is one student nominated from every high school. There are approximately two thousand nominees across Canada," Saleh says proudly. Only fifty receive the Schulich Leadership Scholarship, given to high school graduates who enroll in a STEM program at one of 20 Canadian universities.
"It basically proved to me that this is my calling and that it really is my responsibility to ensure that I am the definition for what inclusive engineering looks like," she says.
Her teachers at Massey are not at all shocked by her reward.
"Shahad is a very special student that only comes across very few times in your career," says Justin St. Pierre, who has taught Saleh since she was in Grade 10 and also coaches the school’s robotics team. Little surprise here, Saleh was the captain.
St. Pierre says it’s about far more than grades for the stellar student.
"She really focuses on youth and getting young girls involved with STEM, which really makes her special," says St. Pierre.
Saleh will attend the University of Waterloo in the fall and major in Mechatronics Engineering, a field she hopes to gain employment in down the road, “preferably doing some product design, maybe some magnetic levitation, wherever that road takes me," she proclaims.
The $100,000 will be spread out over four years, covering both her tuition and living costs. The only stipulation is she must maintain an 80 per cent average throughout university in order to qualify for the next chunk of the scholarship.
Her high school average?
A cumulative 97 per cent.