Two new students at Waterloo Engineering began their university careers this month with more than $100,000 each in backing from a national scholarship program.
Dhruv Patel and Lauren Prophet were among 34 young Canadians selected as Loran Scholars for 2018 from an initial pool of over 5,000 candidates.
The Loran Scholars Foundation, a national charity founded in 1988, puts a premium on evidence of character during a rigorous selection process to identify and nurture the next generation of leaders.
“The foundation looks for qualities in Loran Scholars that a transcript alone cannot show – courage, compassion, determination, entrepreneurial spirit and a high level of personal autonomy – and invests in these students to study and realize their potential at Canadian institutions,” the organization said in a news release.
The four-year scholarships include an annual $10,000 living stipend, matching tuition waiver at partner universities and up $10,000 in funding for summer internships, plus one-on-one mentorship, yearly retreats and social gatherings.
Patel, who is studying mechatronics engineering, was a badminton coach, athlete and member of a mayor’s youth council while in high school in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
He also co-founded an organization to promote computer science education and developed a system to detect fatigue in industrial truck drivers.
“With so much innovation at its core and the fundamentals of the mechatronics program here at the University of Waterloo, I can’t imagine exploring engineering anywhere else,” Patel said.
Prophet, a nanotechnology engineering student, was co-leader of an eco team and started a campaign to raise awareness of pollinator health at her Toronto high school.
She was also involved with the Ontario Nature Youth Council, the Girl Guides and a summer camp, played softball and volunteered with a seasonal emergency relief program.
“The sheer brain power and resources that are available at this university astound me, and the diversity of people, programs and ideas around me is inspiring,” said Prophet.
A third scholarship recipient, Katherine Gotovsky of Thornhill, Ontario, is attending the University of Waterloo to study computer science and business.