Give me an S-T-E-M!
Madelin Rioux, a Collingwood Collegiate Institute student and cheerleader, was recently selected to receive a $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship to support her pursuit of a computer science and engineering degree at the University of Ottawa.
The 17-year-old from Wasaga Beach was selected earlier this year as the school’s applicant. Rioux said her application included an essay on the topic of leadership, her school transcripts, letters of recommendation and an interview. During her interview, she was informed she would be receiving the scholarship.
“I was really nervous for the interview. I was really not expecting it. It relieved a lot of stress,” she said.
A cheerleader for 11 years, Rioux says she once competed at a Trillium World competition and works as a coach, which has helped her to hone her leadership skills. She also works as a manager at McDonald’s in Wasaga Beach.
Rioux says the news of the scholarship means she won’t have to work during her post-secondary studies, and can spend time focusing on her education.
“I’ve been working a part-time job since the middle of Grade 9,” she said. “Being able to focus on my studies is something I haven’t been able to do for so long, and I’m excited for that opportunity.”
The Schulich Leader Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 by businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich in recognition of the increasing importance and impact that STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations. This year, entrance scholarships are being awarded to 100 high school graduates enrolling in a STEM undergraduate program.
When Rioux looks toward her future, she hasn’t yet settled on a specific job path.
“I plan to do something that will help people,” said Rioux. “I’ve always wanted to make an impression on this world. It’s always been a goal of mine to be remembered for something.”