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Shellbrook student earns $120,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship

University of Calgary scholarship earned by Abigail Kyliuk allows her to join a network of national STEM scholars.
shellbrookstudent
Grade 12 student Abigail Kyliuk has been chosen for a Schulich Leader Scholarship at the University of Calgary.

SHELLBROOK — A Grade 12 student from WP Sandin School in Shellbrook has been selected for a Schulich Leader Scholarship.

Abigail Kyliuk received the $120,000 scholarship from the University of Calgary. The award allows her to join a network of national STEM scholars.

Kyliuk applied for the scholarship at WP Sandin but had to be nominated by the school to win it. Both were told she was selected on May 30.

"I thought it was one of those things where it's like, ‘Oh I heard of someone else getting this,’ but you don't think that you're actually going to get it,” Kyliuk said.

A Schulich Leader is a student who has been selected by one of the scholarship organization’s 20 partner universities to receive either $100,000 or $120,000 to pursue an undergraduate degree in STEM. In addition to the financial award, they join a network of fellow scholars and benefit from student enrichment opportunities throughout the year.

Kyliuk applied to the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta, and University of Calgary and they each have Schulich Leader Scholarships. Kyliuk is heading to the University of Calgary to study engineering.

Schulich Leaders are entrepreneurial-minded and exemplify academic excellence and leadership, creativity and charisma, with strong consideration for financial need. Schulich Leaders are pursuing careers in technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and business enterprise, and applied scientific research.

 Kyliuk was in the Saskatchewan Rivers Students for Change (SRSC) but was not sure if this would meet the leadership threshold.

She was the President of the SRSC this year after being the secretary last school year.

“I feel like I have some of them. I wasn’t sure if they would be enough,” she said.

"Last year I was asked to be a part of it by my principal, and then (Superintendent) Garrette (Tebay) had commented on how valuable she thought I was to that group, so my principal heard that and he asked me again this year.”

Kyliuk went to an open house at the University of Calgary in the late fall and was thinking of entering medicine. One of the professors at the University steered her towards a bio-medical engineering undergraduate degree because it includes math and physics which are two of her strengths. Most other universities have that as a post-graduate degree. She is still contemplating where this degree can lead.

"I'm thinking with my schooling I'll figure out where my interests are and what direction I want to head in,” she said. “I really hope to own my own business one day. Maybe I do some work getting more experience before that happens.

"I really like that the University of Calgary (has) an option to do internships or co-ops abroad. I thought that might be a good way to get experience,” she added.

Kyliuk said more than just academics played a role in getting the scholarship. She’s sure having a well-rounded life helped too.

"I think the big thing for that kind of award is being well-rounded. I play piano and I teach piano to other students, so that's where I hit the scholarship with,” she said

“Plus, (I’m) still keeping up with my schoolwork,” she added.

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