What kind of school creates a $100,000 scholar?

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This article was published 07/03/2016 (2350 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Earning a scholarship for post-secondary study is a proud achievement for any student or parent.

The value of a diploma, degree or certification in today’s global economy goes without saying. It’s why the average post-secondary student chooses to incur, on average, $27,000 in debt for the privilege of attaining a post-secondary credential.

Bilal Ayyache, a Grade 12 student at Nelson McIntyre Collegiate, has landed the scholarship of scholarships. And it’s safe to say he won’t have to worry about accumulating post-secondary debt anytime soon.

Photo by Adriano Magnifico Bilal Ayyache, recent winner of $100,000 Loran scholarship, says the opportunities present by Nelson McIntyre Collegiate are second to none.

Bilal has recently been named a Loran Scholar, which comes with a surreal scholarship of $100,000. The award requires that he also attend an out-of-province institution.

This year, The Loran Scholarship Foundation acknowledged 31 students from throughout Canada. Bilal, the only student chosen from Manitoba, is perhaps the most unlikely candidate, coming from one of the smallest high schools in the city.

Interestingly, the size and environment of Nelson Mac may be the biggest reasons for his prestigious award.

Bilal attests to the special nurturing and generosity of spirit that comes from a smaller learning and working environment.

“There is a special spirit in this school among the staff and spirit, kind of like a family that you wouldn’t get in a large school. Everyone knows everyone else and pulls for one another.”

“We’re a little school that thinks big,” says principal Ralph Wagner. “The school offers most programming that a larger high school does, and most of the students are involved in some type of activity.”

Students develop skills and attributes by trying and exploring different activities and skills. And Bilal is involved in everything.

He is heavily involved in school and community life. He’s an actor/singer in the school musical;  a marketing VP for the Junior Achievement Team; a lead designer on the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Hovercraft Group; a SHAD Valley Science and Tech summer camp participant; a member of the student leadership team; a school grad committee member; a peer tutor; a badminton team player and coach; a volunteer at St. Boniface Hospital; a resumé-coach for younger students; the school yearbook editor;  and a barista at Starbucks.  Whew.

All this and Bilal has a 95% average.

He’s part of a dynamic Nelson McIntyre culture that emphasizes participation, character, service, and community partnership.

“I’m not sure I would be a Loran scholar if I did not have the chance to try so many things and build so many skills,” Bilal says.

Bilal can indeed be proud of his enormous scholarship achievement.

Nelson Mac can take a little of the credit, too.

To learn more about the Loran Scholars Foundation, visit loranscholar.ca

Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for St. Boniface. You can contact him at amagnif@mymts.net

Adriano Magnifico

Adriano Magnifico
St. Boniface community correspondent

Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for St. Boniface.

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