CORNWALL, Ontario – St. Lawrence Secondary School Grade 12 student Affaan Ali has been selected to receive the Schulich Leader Scholarship which the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) terms as the most prestigious in Canada.
“We are proud to celebrate 10 years of Schulich Leader Scholarships, the premiere STEM scholarship program in Canada and the world. This group of 100 outstanding students will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer and will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale. With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures. They are the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators,” said program founder Seymour Schulich.
The scholarship valued at $80,000 will go towards Ali’s expenses while he studies at the University of Ottawa.
“I have grown fond of Ottawa from my frequent visits there over my high school career,” said Ali. “I am ecstatic to start my future in the city.”
Ali has been an honour roll student since Grade 9 and has a current class average of 98.5 per cent.
“My parents are my motivators; they have sacrificed a lot for me, and I aspire to make them proud,” Ali said. “I also wish to be a role model for my little brother.”
Ali has participated in the Waterloo Math Contest each year of his high school career, scoring in the top 25 per cent twice and being at the top of his school each time.
Ali volunteered his time as a math tutor for his peers, and started a math tutoring business in 2019 with help from the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre (CBEC).
It was Ali’s math exploits that encouraged his teacher Jamie Carr to nominate him for the Schulich Leader Scholarship.
“We are so proud of Affaan here at St. Lawrence Secondary School,” says Principal Kelty Grant. “He’s such a well-rounded, sincere, kind student. He is not only strong academically, but is also very involved in school life, and is always willing to help his peers. We will miss Affaan next year, but we can’t wait to follow his successes.”
In addition to his academic accomplishments Ali has also served on student council and has played the clarinet in the school band, with his group winning gold in the Kinsmen Music Festival.
Currently, Ali is completing a co-operative education credit as a researcher at the Cornwall River Institute.