This year's scholars have averages ranging from 94 to 99 per cent, and extracurricular activities that include founding a humanitarian group and participating in international robotics competitions and competitive sports. All of the scholars were drawn to the University of Waterloo for its reputation for innovation, high standards and entrepreneurial spirit.

Ella Rasmussen of Oakville, Ontario, will join the mechatronics engineering program. She founded and co-captained a team that took home 15 awards from regional, provincial and international events in one season, and co-founded WeeSprout, a startup that combines environmental sustainability with food nutrition and community.

“Since Grade 6, I've wanted to go to Waterloo because I heard that it was one of the best engineering schools in Canada,” said Rasmussen, who says coming to Waterloo satisfies a lifelong dream. “I also thought that the co-op opportunity was one of the best things that could happen for an engineering student.”

Madeline Shred of Ladysmith, British Columbia, graduated with an average of 99 per cent, and will be a student in Waterloo’s biomedical sciences program. She helped found a charitable organization at her school called Building a Legacy, which raised money for Free the Children.

“I'm really interested in Waterloo's reputation for innovation,” said Shred. “In today's economy and world, it’s innovation that's going to help us create a better future.”

Aaron Grenkefrom Spruce Grove, Alberta, made a Rotary Club-sponsored humanitarian trip to Guatemala, and spearheaded a mentorship program for younger students at his high school.  He will study mechanical engineering at Waterloo.

“I’m really excited about having a hands-on approach to learning, especially with the co-op term. It should expand my personal horizons, and open my eyes,” he said. “I’m really excited to be able to work alongside my education and see how it fits.”

Rising regularly before dawn to hit the rink in her hometown of Coquitlam, Cindy Wei is a competitive skater who attained the silver levels in both free skate and ice dance, won medals in many competitions, and performed in ice dancing shows. She gives back to that community as a CanSkate assistant coach and learn-to-skate instructor for the City of Coquitlam. She’s written two children's novels and has a blog about cooking and nutrition. Wei will study kinesiology in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

“I ended up choosing Waterloo because it's such an innovative university, and the environment there seems very welcoming. It's a place where I can be creative and develop my ideas further.”

Open to every high school, secondary school and CEGEP across Canada, Schulich Leader Scholarships recognize Canadian students who plan to study one of the STEM disciplines during their undergraduate years at university. These students demonstrate two of the following attributes: academic excellence, outstanding community, business or entrepreneurial leadership or financial need.

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