For a teenager in Port Hope Simpson, this summer may be one of the most interesting of her life so far.
Megan Parr will be spending four weeks at a Canadian university for a summer program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
The 16-year-old Level III student at Bayside Academy has been accepted into SHAD, a program that takes some of the highest achievers in the country and internationally and places them in one of 13 Canadian universities for the month of July.
Between sports, local activities and volunteering, Parr is a busy teenager. She makes sure she balances her extracurricular activities, academics and family life. She even fit time in to fill out and submit the application online, which was a gruelling process.
“The application process was extremely long and competitive,” Parr explained. “It involved a series of my academic performance, time commitment and leadership roles in my school and community, any academic awards I’ve earned in the past three years, involvement in the arts and athletics, volunteer or paid work I’m involved in, a write up on three of my greatest accomplishments, an essay on the impact I’ve had in participating in community activities, a creative essay, along with two other small write-ups.”
If that wasn’t enough, she had some technology problems during the process.
“My computer shut down three times while I was close to completion of the application, meaning I had to re-do/re-write the application three times, cutting close to the application deadline,” she said.
It may have been difficult, but at the end of the day, Megan finds it satisfying her achievements and dedication have enabled her the opportunity. It was her passion for wanting to take part that pushed her to not give up on that application.
The application was submitted in November, and she has been anxiously waiting to find out if she was accepted.
“Finding out I was accepted had beat out any moment in 2017 yet,” she noted.
Although she doesn’t get final say in which university she will attend in July, Parr would like to head to British Columbia to take part in the program at a university there. There are 13 different host campuses across the country, and Parr is excited for wherever she may end up.
“I am beyond lucky to get selected for this program, and I am very excited to put my prior knowledge to the test and see what I can bring forward,” she said. “This experience, I know, will be life changing. I’ll meet lots of new friends, learn many new things and open up more doors of opportunities for my future.”
There is one thing that Parr is looking forward to that is not a part of the program. She will celebrate her 17th birthday on July 6, while she is somewhere across Canada.
“It’s super exciting,” she said.
Following the program, there is a volunteer internship for SHAD, so she is going to apply for that as well.