NARTHAANAN SRIMURUGATHASAN

March 15, 2014

Every year, 30 high school students across Canada are given the opportunity of a life-time – an $80, 000 scholarship to any Canadian university of their choice, enrolment in a unique summer internship program, and the tools with which to follow their dreams. This opportunity, of course, is the prestigious Loran Scholar Program. Loran Scholars are selected based on their character, service to the community, and entrepreneurial potential through, perhaps, the most rigorous scholarship selection process in Canada. Of the initial 3 700 applicants, Grade 12 VPCI student Terry Zhang was chosen this past February as one of Canada’s thirty best and brightest.

 

Narthaanan Srimurugathasan: “How and when were you notified of your award?”

Terry Zhang: “The national interviews took place [from] February 14th to 15th. On February 16th, at 3:00 pm, I received the best phone call of my life, informing me that I’ve been selected as a Loran Scholar of 2014.”

NS: “How do you feel having received the prestigious Loran award?”

TZ: “I was pretty shocked at first because I honestly didn’t expect to receive this scholarship. When I found out I had received the scholarship, I was very honored and extremely excited at the prospective opportunities that the Loran Scholarship will offer in the future.”

NS: “What would you like to pursue going into university?”

TZ: “By process of elimination, I’ve decided to study in Queen’s University Commerce Program. I’m currently looking at finance for my future, but it’s definitely not set in stone yet.”

NS: “What are some of your pastimes?”

TZ: “My biggest passions are snowboarding, playing the piano, and following my favourite Toronto sports teams. I’ve been actively snowboarding for the past nine years, and I love my job as a snowboard instructor. I’ve been playing the piano for seven years and am currently working on one major project at the moment: Gershwin’s An American in Paris… This year, I look forward to attending some basketball, hockey, and perhaps baseball playoff games in Toronto.”

NS: “What are some extracurriculars you are involved in?”

TZ: “In the past, I’ve taught children how to play chess through the amazing Chess in the Library program founded and directed by a few amazing VPCI students, volunteered as a youth help line counselor, and participated as a clarinetist in the Ontario Youth Orchestra. Nowadays, I enjoy tutoring and teaching math concepts at VPCI’s Math Club.”

NS: “What is your advice to future students who wish to apply for such a scholarship?”

TZ: “The most important thing to realize is that there is only one way to play the scholarship game. Each scholarship looks for something different in its applicants, and the worst mistake you can make is to mold your character to fit the shape of someone else’s to impress the application evaluators. Be true to yourself, do things you like to do, and not for your résumé. Don’t stress about grades, as marks are secondary and not as important as you think they are. Look at everything with optimism and realize that not getting into the program that you wanted does not mean the end of your career. Prestigious programs, universities, and scholarships don’t guarantee success; they merely make your journey through life easier.”

 

Terry is an outstanding student, exceptional musician, and competitive athlete. He is surely a role model to many of his peers. There is no doubt that his keen mind and enthusiastic attitude will bring him success in the future. Congratulations Terry Zhang and good luck on your future endeavours. Thank you for making VPCI proud!