JPII student a finalist for LORAN Award

From battlefordsNOW
January 10, 2019 - 12:00pm

A high-achieving student from Battleford has been named one of the Loran Award finalists for 2019, from the 2017-18 application period.

John Paul II Collegiate Grade 12 student Emily Simon will be taking part in interviews during the selection process in Toronto on Feb. 1 and 2.

Simon said she is thrilled about being selected as a finalist.

"It means so much to me," she said. "I'm not naive when it comes to this. It's not all about me. I would not be in the place I am without all the support I've had throughout the years. It's a very exhilarating experience knowing that with the support I have had I can come this far."

The 17-year-old is a little nervous about participating in the competition but said it is a big opportunity and she knows it will also be a good learning experience for her.

The LORAN (Long-Range Aid to Navigation) Award is given to successful students who best exemplify the qualities of character, service, and leadership. Students can apply for the award who will be attending university in 2019. Applicants must also have at least an 85 per cent academic average.

According to the organization's website, the Loran Scholars Foundation was the first national organization in Canada to grant undergraduate awards to students, based on their academic achievement, extracurricular activity and leadership potential. The Loran Award is valued at $100,000 over four years.

The top 88 candidates will attend the National Selections weekend on Feb. 1 and 2 in Toronto, where eight committees and four national co-chairs will select up to 34 Loran Scholars.

Simon said she hopes to pursue a leadership studies program or go on to complete a Bachelor of Education program when she attends university. Her long-term goal is to become a teacher. 

The youth credited all the influential people she has known in her life who have helped her reach her goals and take on leadership roles for various projects, which have given her "opportunities to grow." 

Simon, who was also named Junior Citizen of the Year in 2017, has been involved in a number of projects focused on helping others. 

Among some of the initiatives, Simon has been involved in the student-run charity-business Kids Helping Kids, made up of a youth volunteer group that undertakes spring cleanup work in the community. Simon has also been involved in a new project called the Conversation Cafe, a space at the school where students are invited to drop in, have a beverage and chat with other students before going to class. She describes the cafe as a place to check in and debrief, where students can discuss anything that is on their minds "when they need it."  "It's a social environment to make sure everyone has a safe place to go," she said.

Simon said she strives to make other people's lives easier through her efforts in helping others in the community.


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