Schulich leaders set for bright future at UAlberta

(Edmonton) University of Alberta-bound Nikita-Kiran Singh of Red Deer and Qadeem Salehmohamed of Surrey, B.C., have been announced as winners of the inaugural Schulich Leader Scholarship, one of the richest undergraduate scholarships in Canada.

The Schulich Leader Scholarships annual program, which awards 40 students headed to 20 Canadian universities with four-year, $60,000 scholarships, recognizes Canadian high-school students who demonstrate excellence in academics and community leadership, and who plan to commence study in the areas of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

In her application for the award, Singh, who has been admitted into the U of A’s Faculty of Science, quoted revered Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“I continuously strive to live my life by his inspiring words,” she wrote.

Singh is involved in a number of leadership roles including student editor of her high school’s inaugural literary magazine, dance instructor assistant, and volunteer at a Red Deer hospital. She also initiated her school’s anti-idling campaign and committed herself to a school solar-panel project.

Singh also participated in the youth-session portion of the recent Premier’s Council Meeting for Economic Strategy, where a group of the province’s top minds came together to give external perspective on what Alberta needs to do to secure its long-term prosperity.

“I felt a great responsibility in conveying to the council the concerns and beliefs of my generation; I stressed the importance of supporting the environment, refusing to foster societal conformity and decreasing rates of childhood obesity.”

Salehmohamed, who was also accepted into the Faculty of Science, and is a youth leader in the local Surrey Rotary Club and the YMCA, stated that leadership goes beyond academic potential and being a motivator to include a determination to overcome the inevitability of hardships, a skill he says he found he had while encountering obstacles in helping to create a student-funded scholarship at his high school.

“[This experience] has played a significant role in my personal development, teaching me the importance of determination and perseverance,” he wrote. He also stated his time working on the student financial initiative taught him the value of innovation. “I was able to think outside of the box to find a solution, which met both the goals of the club and the administration.

“For anyone, such as a Schulich leader, aspiring to make a difference on a large scale, innovation is the key to success.”

Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich created the Schulich Leader Scholarships. This $100-million scholarship initiative was implemented to secure the future economic competitiveness of Canada and is designed to ensure that future Canadian leaders are among the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation.