Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
When a private phone number appeared on the screen of Shubhkarman Jaura’s cell phone in mid-April, the Maples Collegiate student almost didn’t pick up. Little did he know, on the incoming line was a scholarship offer for $100,000.
Jaura, an 18-year-old Maples resident, answered the call and accepted the Schulich Leader Scholarship, which will lead him to study computer engineering at the University of Alberta this fall.
"It was a dream-come-true moment. I was completely blown away. I was speechless, like I am right now, I was speechless. There are very few moments when I am speechless," he said.
This year the Schulich Foundation granted 100 scholarships ranging between $80,000 and $100,000, to high school graduates enrolled in a science, technology, engineering, or math program at one of the foundation’s 20 partner universities in Canada.
Jaura, who is known as "Shubh" by some, was nominated for the award by Fil Costa, a counsellor and scholarship facilitator at Maples Collegiate.
"When I got to know Shubh … I was so struck by the determination, the perseverance, but most of all that smile. Shubh has a quality smile, a positive component that is so admirable in someone so young," Costa said. "I was just so overjoyed for him because he is such a deserving individual."
Jaura, who immigrated to Canada from India in 2017 and enrolled at Maples Collegiate for his Grade 10 year, has a resume that is nothing short of impressive.
The two-term co-president of student council speaks four languages — English, French, Punjabi, and Hindi — co-founded the school’s debate club and participates on the well-being committee, volunteers at Seven Oaks General Hospital, works as a high school mentor to younger students, has been involved with various fundraising initiatives, and is taking university-level calculus and computer programming courses.
In the summer of 2019, Jaura attended an enrichment and entrepreneurship program called SHAD at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
Annually, around 900 students from across Canada attend one of the SHAD programs held at universities throughout the country. SHAD delivers education through lectures, workshops, projects, and activities.
Jaura said he worked on a waste management prototype with other students, to address the issue of organic and inorganic waste entering landfills and triggering fires. The students then presented the prototype to waste management officials.
More recently, Jaura participated in the first-ever Youth Nuclear Peace Summit, held in Winnipeg last October. Together with students, University of Manitoba faculty, and human rights activists, Jaura helped to draft a nuclear peace treaty which was supposed to be presented to a United Nations committee before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jaura’s ambition makes him stand out among the rest, said his homeroom teacher Lisa Sylvestre.
"He just had a laundry list of stuff that he wanted to do," she said. "While he’s getting these incredible grades, being involved in absolutely everything, he’s thinking about how he can make the world a better place."
After he completes his undergraduate degree, Jaura said he’d like to pursue a master’s degree in business to round out his skill set.
Jaura offered words of encouragement to students who are looking to become as involved as he is:
"Never ever be afraid of taking risks and being involved, because at the end it is nice to do something than regretting for not doing anything."
Community Journalist - The Times
Sydney Hildebrandt is the community journalist for The Times. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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