STEM students win ‘life-changing’ scholarships

Four York Region students have won a prestigious scholarship designed to nurture “the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators.”

Kiara Mavalwala of St. Augustine Catholic High School in Markham, Aimee Petrea Chiripuci of Father Bressani CHS in Woodbridge, Kevin Qu of Newmarket High School and Eva Sosnina of Thornlea Secondary School have each earned the Schulich Leader Scholarship.

The $100,000 scholarships recognize academic excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and are awarded to high school graduates enrolling in STEM undergraduate program at 20 partner universities in Canada.

Mavalwala, a student in St. Augustine’s STEM+ Focused Laptop Program, will study engineering at York University. She manages her school’s Best Buddies club, is vice president of its Eco Team, leads its Grade 9 orientation program and is also a member of several school sports teams. “My passion for engineering was sparked during my Grade 11 Indigenous-focused English class that opened my eyes to the inequalities across our nation,” she says. “The engineering degree that I am pursuing offers the building blocks to create sustainable solutions that will help achieve change in local communities, across the country and beyond.”

Aimee Petrea Chiripuci

Chiripuci will study science at Western University. She has contributed to the Father Bressani school community as an outstanding student, athlete and artist. “I am grateful to have been chosen for this life-changing scholarship,” the Ontario Scholar says. “I will be introduced to a network of people throughout my years at university and will make the most out of this opportunity. This scholarship will allow me to truly prosper as a leader and to grow my entrepreneurial mindset.”

Qu will study engineering science at the University of Toronto. “I chose engineering because of how varied the field is,” he says. “Throughout high school I was able to participate in activities involving programming, engineering and even business. I found that engineering’s combination of programming and science interested me the most, and its associated research and work opportunities are tremendous.”

Sosnina will student engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. “I first heard about the Schulich Leader Scholarship in Grade 10 when I was researching different universities and post-secondary opportunities,” she says. “I clearly remember hoping that I would become one of the recipients of the scholarship without actually thinking it could be possible and for this to become reality is very surreal and humbling.”

Businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established the Schulich Foundation, a $100+ million scholarship fund, in 2012 to encourage the best and brightest students to become Schulich Leader Scholars.


Main photo: Markham student Kiara Mavalwala has earned a $100,000 scholarship. Photos courtesy of the York Catholic District School Board. 

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