Teulon Collegiate Institute student Samantha Morin has made her small town proud after being awarded a $100,000 scholarship by the Loran Scholars Foundation in early February. (Submitted/Loran Scholars Foundation)
Samantha Morin has a bright future to look forward to after being awarded a $100,000 scholarship through the national Loran Scholars Foundation in early February. Thirty-three other Canadian students out of 5,023 applicants were also selected to receive the award, after a national selection process concluded in Toronto Feb. 2 and 3.
“The experience has been very impacting on my future. I was so thankful for the opportunity whether I got the award or not. It was so exciting,” Morin said, recalling her journey to receiving the good news.
It started late last year when her school nominated her for the prestigious award. She was soon called to regional selections in Winnipeg in November, before travelling to Toronto for the opportunity to not only vie for the award, but meet other students from all over Canada.
“We had two full days of interviews, and we got to meet some of last year’s scholars, four year scholars- who won it in 2013 and people who won the award back in the 90s. It wasn’t really a ‘try to impress everyone thing’ it was more of a place where you could just be yourself and see if you were the right fit. It was a really good atmosphere to be in.”
Morin called the experience life-changing.
“You learn something new every five minutes you’re there, it’s crazy,” she said. “Even though we are from all across Canada, we are all the same. So, it was really neat to get to meet other people from the east coast and the west coast and get to connect with them on that level.”
Morin thanked her community for their support throughout the selection process.
“I have been hearing that everyone is really proud of me, it’s been nice getting to talk to everyone and the school was pretty excited when I announced it,” she said, adding it was just as overwhelming for her family. “For my family, not a lot of us leave the province or our small town and so they were very excited for me,” she said.
Morin plans to study education so she can become an elementary school teacher.
Her achievements include starting a volunteer-driven childcare program for the community, volunteering at church dinners and organizing children’s winter clothing drives. At school, she is a junior volleyball coach, yearbook editor and photographer, curling team captain and student council co-president.
Loran Scholars Foundation, founded in 1988, gives a select number of Canadians scholarships based on evidence of character, service to their communities and long-term leadership potential. The award covers four years of tertiary education an annual $10,000 stipend and matching tuition waiver, access to $10,000 in funding for summer internships, one-on-one mentorship, annual retreats and scholar gatherings. Students can study at any of the foundation's partner institutions across the country.
“The selection of a Loran Scholar is unique in its attention to a young person’s character. We believe that integrity, courage, grit and personal autonomy are better indicators of overall potential than standard academic measures. To discover these traits, we administer the most comprehensive and thorough scholarship selection process in Canada,” a prepared statement from Loran Scholars Foundation said.