I feel as though this is an unconventional post on this blog, because unlike most people on here, I am not an alumnus. I haven’t even started school, actually. This fall I’ll be moving into the University ofWaterloo, where I’ll be taking Mechatronics Engineering. I’m incredibly excited for the future, especially because both my parents graduated from here and I’ve been granted the amazing Schulich Leader Scholarship.

Evangeline DryburghMy mom was a political science major (‘90) and my dad completed a general science degree (‘91). Growing up with them around me gave me huge insights into Waterloo and how amazing it was. On open house day they showed me around, taking me to spots where they first met and had classes together.

They were so supportive throughout my decision making process of where to attend post-secondary education (“anywhere you go you’ll be fine” was a classic line), but I could tell they wanted me to follow in their footsteps. Deep down, I knew it was where I would go. Because of their history here, I’ve known about Waterloo’s amazing reputation and co-op program since I was little. It was part of the reason I wanted to go to Waterloo. The other major factor was the Schulich Leader Scholarship I received. 

The scholarship is the most coveted STEM scholarship in Canada, and Waterloo picked two candidates for their engineering program, each awarded $100 000. You can imagine my excitement and disbelief when I got the email saying I won. It was a dream come true, and to have come from the best engineering program in Canada? I couldn’t believe my luck. Not just because of the scholarship, but also because I am so lucky to have been surrounded by my supportive family and community, both never stopped believing in me – they are the main reason I worked so hard.

This scholarship not only helps me with finances, but also allows me to meet other amazing engineering and science students from all over Canada. I get to meet new people and go to events with some of the biggest names in science. This scholarship not only granted me financial stability, but also amazing opportunities. In the long run I hope to work in clean energy, I don’t know how yet, but I’m sure the Schulich Scholarship and all of its opportunities will guide me toward what I’m looking for. 

This fall is going to be a big change, from a small town and a horse farm to a city and a dorm room, but my parents will be behind me every step of the way, cheering me on while also reminiscing about their time in university. Hopefully in five years, I’ll be an alumnus just like them.