Turning Lego into a scholarship

Guest blog by Amanda Rampertab

My name is Amanda Rampertab and I’m in my 1A term for Mechatronics Engineering. I was awarded the 2014 Schulich Leader Scholarship at the University of Waterloo, presented to a student pursuing a degree in an engineering program, valued at $80,000. 

The Schulich Leader Scholarship is an undergraduate scholarship for students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs, requiring them to possess academic excellence and outstanding community, business, or entrepreneurial leadership.

I had the opportunity to demonstrate these skills through my involvement in VEX Robotics and FIRST Robotics competitions.  After winning the world championships in both of these competitions, I wanted to share my passion with other aspiring female engineers through mentoring multiple Lego robotics teams and volunteering at Lego robotics competitions across Ontario -- including refereeing at the first-ever Canadian-hosted FIRST Lego League International Open Championship this past June. I believe that my dedicated involvement in promoting STEM to an overlooked youth demographic is what being a Schulich Leader is about.

In addition to robotics, in high school I was the first trumpet chair in my music department, a founding member of the Social Justice Club which assisted local churches, and a senior member in my school’s Prefect program. I have also participated in an academic enrichment program called Shad Valley at Carleton University which challenges Canada’s brightest minds with lectures, workshops, challenges and projects that push us to improve the world.

Through participating in all of these clubs and teams, I had the opportunity to develop soft skills that I can use for the rest of my life. I learned how to build my public speaking skills and improvise presentations through my involvement in robotics teams. I discovered ways to lead and motivate others within my high school bands and clubs. My community involvement allowed me to experience the difference that volunteering with passion can make in the lives of others. My extracurricular participation has given me the chance to step out of my comfort zone and grow as a person in the process.

Amanda and Science student Emily Pass were both recipients of this year’s Schulich Leader Scholarships.

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