First-year student receives major award

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

One incoming student in the Faculty of Mathematics is beginning their semesters with a bit of extra money in his pockets.

First-year student Jason Amri won a Schulich Leader Scholarship, the largest STEM scholarship in Canada and valued at $80,000 or $100,000 for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

Amri is one of four of the incoming Schulich Leaders at Waterloo. All have distinguished themselves with high grades, leadership roles within their communities and participation in entrepreneurial ventures. Majoring in either mathematics, science or engineering, the four were selected from more than 1,400 nominees across Canada vying for one of only 50 scholarships.

Jason Amri
Jason Amri
Ancaster, Ontario
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science — $80,000

Jason Amri says he’s always had a passion for STEM. Even as a young child, the 18-year-old has been consumed with taking things apart just to put them back together again. It was through this every day experimenting that he discovered the opportunities associated with computer science — and he’s been hooked ever since. To harness this passion, coming to Waterloo seemed like the natural next step.

“I remember exploring the [University of Waterloo] on [Google] street-view when I was 12, dreaming that one day I’d be a student there,” says Amri. “I’ve always been drawn to Waterloo’s reputation. In my mind, no other Canadian university offers the same dedication to entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Having already started a business — Diy5, a site that helps anyone get the tools and parts they need to get started in hobby electronics — Amri continues to bring his extra-curricular passion to school by leading the math, coding and maker clubs. He was also the web administrator for his school’s newspaper, an executive on his school’s DECA team, founder of their economic debate club and an elected member of student council.

“Outside of school, I like to tinker with microcontrollers and design my own circuits,” says Amri. “I’ve built tons of apps and devices over the years, really anything to satisfy my curiosity. I also try to spend time at the gym or cycling if I can.”

While Amri aspires toward a career in technology, he’s keeping an open mind to various work opportunities.

“Right now, I’m drawn to the potential in the world of FinTech and interested by our growing need for information security,” says Amri. “I’d also like to continue to pursue entrepreneurship while in university and see where that takes me.”