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This article was published 8/6/2020 (312 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Westwood Collegiate student was awarded one of the largest STEM scholarships in Canada.
Joshua Bond, a Grade 12 Westwood Collegiate student, received $100,000 from the Schulich Leader Scholarship to study engineering at the University of Manitoba. Bond won the scholarship due to his "outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements," and plans to attend school this fall.
Bond said he appreciates the award.
"I dunno if it’s fully sunk in yet. I’m really honoured to receive it. When I got the call, they asked to speak to me directly. I wasn’t sure if something had gone wrong in my application," Bond said. "When they told me I had been selected, it didn’t feel real. I couldn’t believe it."
Bond said he credits the win to his math and science teachers who sparked his interest in those subjects. He also thanked his friends and family for supporting him along the way. Bond splits his time between achieving amazing grades in all his subjects, playing on the school volleyball team, and volunteering for his family’s charitable foundation, raising money for brain cancer research.
Joanne Nemetchek, a math teacher at Westwood Collegiate, said she knew Bond was special when he came to her class. He was so gifted at solving math problems, Nemetchek accelerated his learning process. Bond was solving Grade 10 and 11 problems when he was still a freshman, achieving a 99 per cent average on all his tests.
Nemetchek said she’s happy Bond has received this award.
"In my mind, there’s not a more deserving student. I knew his family outside of school, so I contacted his mom right away. They’re all just so humble," Nemetchek said. "That’s the one thing that’s always struck me. He’s very humble, he’s exceptionally intelligent and just a nice guy. He’s almost like an urban legend, you do not meet people who have all the pieces of the puzzle."
Nemetchek said Bond is also involved with the community. Bond’s family started Keira’s Krusade, a non-profit organization that supports brain cancer research. The charity was started by Bond’s sister, Keira, before she passed away from brain cancer in 2017. The family continues to support the organization through an annual ringette tournament and a series of gift baskets for families struggling with cancer.
Bond said he plans on attending the U of M in September, but is trying to find a way to make it work for him.
"I’ve had to experience a little bit of online schooling in the past few months, I much prefer (attending) class in person," Bond said. "I think what worked for me then is to construct a schedule and just use time management to make sure I’m able to accomplish tasks. I’m just going to carry forward and do the best I can."
For more information on the scholarship, visit schulichleaders.com
The Metro community journalist
Justin Luschinski is the community journalist for The Metro. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org