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This article was published 24/3/2015 (2374 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A phone call one February night has opened dozens of doors for Kelvin High School student Hannah Lank.
Lank, 17, was chosen as one of 30 graduating high school students across Canada to receive a $100,000 scholarship from the Loran Scholars Foundation.
According to the foundation’s website, Loran Scholars are chosen for their character, commitment to service and outstanding overall leadership potential. The selection process was intense and spanned a three-month period culminating in an interview between Lank and community leaders, including former Member of Parliament Otto Lang, in Toronto.
Everyone else seemed so accomplished and it seemed impossible to choose.
Lank says she was nervous waiting for the fateful phone call from the foundation.
"I didn’t know what to think," Lank said. "The interviewers don’t really show much emotion or tell you if you’re doing well or not in the interview, so I had no idea whether I’d be chosen or not. Everyone else seemed so accomplished and it seemed impossible to choose."
But Lank was chosen and was ecstatic when she learned the news. The Kelvin High School student council co-president was one of 3,800 students to apply for the coveted designation.
"It really is super exciting to be considered among 30 of some of the brightest students that show the most leadership potential for the future. It’s one of the biggest compliments I have ever received," Lank said.
During her time at Kelvin, Lank served as the editor of the high school’s student newspaper, was a volunteer tutor in physics, math and chemistry, and will also round off the school year in the International Baccalaureate program with a 98 per cent average.
However she says the project that was most dear to her during her time at the River Heights institution was her work with Anaphylaxis Canada and the creation of the Food Allergy Club.
Lank lives with a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts and has spent a fair amount of time educating her peers on the risks of living with those allergies. She also has hosted bake sales and fundraisers on behalf Anaphylaxis Canada at school.
"It’s been a really great experience and I’ve really kind of taken that as my one thing that I work a lot on," Lank said.
After graduation, Lank hopes to attend McMaster University, one of the 25 Loran partner universities, where she’ll enter an integrative arts and sciences program.
"Right now I think I want to be a doctor," Lank said, "But Loran really encourages all of their scholars to keep their minds open and to see where the path may lead."
Lank says she is looking forward to working with mentors in the university community. As part of the Loran program, Lank will be paired with a professional in the field she is interested in. She will also be doing some travelling in the summer months, pursuing internships and practical experience.
Lank credits some of her success to the support she’s received from the staff at Kelvin High School over the past four years.
"I definitely think going to Kelvin has been one of the best choices I’ve ever made," she said. "Kelvin has provided me with so many opportunities to go on amazing trips and be part of amazing clubs and I’ve also had a lot of fantastic teachers in the IB program who’ve opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, to new initiatives and to subjects that I probably thought I wouldn’t have been interested in before, but I am now."
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.