Two Halton District School Board students have received prestigious scholarships for demonstrating their ability to thrive in challenging times while making communities around them better places for everyone.
This year, the
Loran Scholars Foundation
says it selected 36 youth from nearly 4,800 applicants who “demonstrated their drive to step up in the face of challenges and make positive change in their communities across the country.”
Among the 36 selected across Canada are Sam Appleton, Grade 12 student at T.A. Blakelock High School and Chloe Carruthers, Grade 12 student at Georgetown District High School. Read more about their accomplishments below and what it means to them.
SAM APPLETONExplain how you felt when you found out you were chosen as a Loran Scholar.
I was truly honoured and humbled to be selected as a 2023 Loran Scholar. Chatting with each and every one of the recipients over the National Selections Weekend really made me realize how the Loran Scholars Selection process brings together some of the most value-driven individuals in Canada and fosters a community of leaders who all have the ability and willingness to learn from each other.Explain how your experience at your school has helped shape who you are.
The teachers at T.A. Blakelock H.S. have really helped me to enjoy learning and embrace new challenges. Whether it's physics demonstrations, interesting assignments in computer science and data management classes, unique open-ended business presentations or exploring new perspectives in our language classes, I feel I have had the chance to immerse myself in engaging learning opportunities in the classroom at Blakelock. Our teachers are passionate about what they do and mentor us through our learning. The overall community at Blakelock (students and staff) is so inclusive and uplifting, that it encouraged me (and others) to try new clubs where I was able to learn about my skills, interests and meet great people.Explain your extra-curricular activities that were highlighted by the Loran organization.
I founded “Just Like Me”, a non-profit organization that curates care packages for children in emergency shelters to reflect their diverse identities and lived experiences. These packages (containing diverse books with positive narratives of the children's identities, multi-racial band aids, craft supplies etc.) were delivered to emergency shelters, for children to pass the time during the pandemic, or while working on their homework. I also volunteer as a youth baseball coach and a volunteer IT consultant with a medical project in Haiti. As a student and athlete, I am also deeply involved at school. I lead our school FBLA chapter, I'm a student mentor/link crew leader, I'm a student senator, and a member of the swim and baseball teams.What are your postsecondary and career aspirations?
Next year, I am planning to pursue a business/commerce degree at university. What advice would you give to students as they begin or finish their high school careers?
As you begin your high school career, get involved in any activity that you might be interested in. Then, try a few new things and see what interests you. Chances are, your Grade 8 self does not know where your Grade 12 self will want to end up. The best way to find out who you want to be and what interests you is to try new things. Getting involved will also help you with the transferable skills that are most important in all aspects of your life such as time management and communication skills.
As you finish your high school career, take the time to reflect on what motivates you and what aspects of high school you enjoyed the most. It may feel like you're making big, stressful decisions in Grade 12. But as long as you follow your heart, you'll make the right decision for you.
“Sam’s presence in the school can be felt each and every day and when the announcement was shared with the school about his award, it felt like the whole school was celebrating with him: says Paul Dawson, Principal at T.A. Blakelock High School. “Sam's commitment to T.A. Blakelock through his engagement in his academics, extra-curricular activities, school- wide leadership and greater community advocacy is always on display. Sam has already stated he would like to support other T.A. Blakelock students with their efforts to pursue post-secondary scholarship opportunities.”
Explain how you felt when you found out you were chosen as a Loran Scholar.
Words could not possibly describe the way it felt to receive that phone call. To get the honour of joining the incredible community within the Loran Scholars Foundation would drastically change my life for the better. So many of my dreams and aspirations suddenly seemed within reach and after a couple of really difficult years, I felt so proud and excited for what my future holds.
Explain how your experience at your school has helped shape who you are.
GDHS is the home of the 87’s, a cohort of peers who inspire me each and every day. I’ve had the privilege of meeting many like-minded people through sports, clubs and academics at my high school. None of my accomplishments would have been possible without the support of my teachers and peers.
Explain your extra-curricular activities that were highlighted by the Loran organization.
Throughout the Loran Scholarship application process, I shared a lot about my involvement in my community. In 2022, I earned my Personal Support Worker certification through a co-op within the HDSB, something I wouldn’t have predicted myself to complete a few years ago. It was my first experience working in the healthcare sector, which opened my eyes to my passion for health and working in a team of health professionals. The experience also challenged me in ways that have changed my perspective and helped me to grow as a human being. Likewise, my involvement in various sports and role as co-president of GDHS’ Student Council helped to greatly shape the leader I am today.
What are your postsecondary and career aspirations?
Going into postsecondary education, I look forward to studying Health Sciences. I can’t wait to discover career pathways where I can use my passion for health to help and inspire others. I hope to explore new ideas that challenge outdated social norms and push the boundaries of medicine.
What advice would you give to students as they begin or finish their high school careers?
I know it can seem daunting looking over others’ resumes and feeling immense pressure as you compare yourself to those around you. I would encourage all highschoolers to remember that no matter what your personal journey looks like, it is worth celebrating. Every time you step out of your comfort zone and learn, you are making powerful growth that cannot be compared to anyone else’s.
“This is a testament to the dedication Chloe shows every day to helping make her community a better place and in improving the lives of those around her, as well as her commitment to personal growth and development,” says Michael Gallant, Principal at Georgetown District High School. “We are proud of Chloe and can't wait to see what great things she does next.”
The Loran Award is a four-year leadership enrichment program consisting of summer work experiences, mentorship, scholar gatherings, an annual living stipend and a tuition waiver at one of 25 university partners. Loran Scholars are provided with the opportunity to build critical skills and capacity for leadership, to expand horizons by taking on new challenges and exploring diverse experiences.