Special to The Standard
The third time was a charm for Uxbridge’s Gwyneth Foster, when the Grade 12 student recently became the third Uxbridge Secondary School student in the past four years to be named a Loran Scholar, and earn the prestigious scholarship.
Valued at $100,000 over four years, the Loran Award includes: tuition; an annual stipend of $10,000; summer internship funding; an orientation expedition, at Algonquin Park; as well as, annual retreats, forums, and mentorship opportunities.
“It was the most exciting phone call that I’ve ever received. There were a lot of ‘thank you’s’ and I was really overwhelmed with excitement, because it’s such an honour,” Ms. Foster told The Standard.
As Ms. Foster explained, in addition to academic excellence, she maintains a 95 average, the Loran Award is focused on leadership and contributions to the community.
“I try to be involved in lots of different things, from sports, to clubs, and leadership, and I think that really stood out during the interview process, that I love to try new things and experience new opportunities,” Ms. Foster explained on her break, at her part-time job as a cashier at Vince’s Market, where she has worked for almost a year.
This year, the Loran Award was given to 33 secondary school students across the country, whittled down from 4,400 initial applications, to 400 regional finalists, to 84 national finalists, before the final selections were made.
“I had no idea how the selection committee was leaning, after my interview (on Feb. 5). The way the interview is set up is in a way that made you feel really good about your accomplishments, and they seemed really interested in getting to know me.”
Ms. Foster plans to study engineering at Waterloo in the fall, noting that “I love science and math. I want to be involved with innovation and new technology. I think space exploration is unbelievably exciting, and I’d love to be a part of a Mars Rover or Canada Arm-type project. I love real world applications for all of that math and science-nerdy stuff.”
Joining Callen Hageman and Braden Braden Lamoureux as recent U.S.S. grads, to earn the prestigious honour, Ms. Foster credited her small-town roots with providing the perfect opportunity to explore different avenues to success.
“I think that there is something to it when you live in a small town, and how successful Uxbridge has been with this award. Living here, if there is something that you want, it’s up to you to go out there and find it. And, if it doesn’t exist, you either have to make it yourself or find new paths to get to where you want to go.”