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Schulich Leader Scholarship recipients Christopher Dyck and Harley Bray

U of M welcomes two Schulich Leader Scholarship winners

August 19, 2015 — 

Two upcoming University of Manitoba first-year students have each been awarded Schulich Leader Scholarships, a four-year award totalling $60,000-$80,000. This is the fourth consecutive year that U of M students have won this prestigious award.

Harley Bray, a graduate of Churchill High School, and Christopher Dyck, an alumnus of Mennonite Brethren Collegiate, are the worthy individuals.

Every Canadian high school, secondary school and CEGEP (in Quebec) could each nominate one student to be eligible to receive the scholarship. In the end, only 50 students could win this significant award, which will pay for their undergraduate degree at one of the 20 designated universities in Canada. 

This year there were 1,250 Schulich Leader Nominees across Canada. Of these students, 59 applied to the U of M, and only Bray and Dyck were selected.

Throughout high school Bray spent nearly 50 hours a week volunteering or doing extracurricular activities. Among them, she volunteered with 19 programs and organizations at school and in the community, including Churchill’s PeaceLearners Program and UNESCO Committee. Outside of school Bray donated her time with Riverview Health Centre as well as the Montrose and Riverview elementary schools, and a number of other programs. She competed on Churchill’s curling, golf, rugby and dragon boat teams. She also managed the football and hockey teams, and was the school’s mascot. For this, the University of Manitoba awarded her a Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship earlier this year. 

“Growing up,” she wrote in her Schulich application essay, “I have given a lot of thought as to what and who I want to be. I have thought of becoming a teacher, firefighter, police officer, and even a psychiatrist. There is one thing that all of these professions have in common; they all help others and that is what I aspire to do with my career. I want to help others achieve their own greatness and I want to give back to all those have gave to me and helped me get to where I am today.”

Bray will begin to pursue a career in pediatric care by attending the Faculty of Science. She will receive $60,000 over four years.

The other outstanding student winner is Christopher Dyck. He will use his Schulich Leader Scholarship to peruse his dream of becoming a theoretical physicist or an electrical engineer. He will enter the Faculty of Engineering and is the recipient of the $80,000 award.

In middle school, he was awarded the MBCI Alumni Scholarship for being a tutor and companion for others. The award is given to those who affirm the values of MBCI, demonstrating a positive attitude towards others while maintaining academic excellence. In Grade 11 his peers awarded him the Sig Schroeder Memorial Scholarship for excelling in two sciences and a second language. This is all the more impressive given that, as Dyck admits, he struggled with reading and writing throughout his younger years and had to dedicate himself to overcoming these struggles. One could say he overshot the mark and is now among the exceptional students.

“I have a fire inside me pushing me to reach my potential,” Dyck wrote in his application essay. He wants to create a new scientific model that will unify all physics and aspects of the universe. This bold task is so daunting, only a few are brave enough to endure the efforts to attempt it. Dyck is driven to try.

He noted: “As far back as I can remember, there has always been a yearning and unquenchable question burning inside me: ‘what lies beyond or knowledge of the universe?’”

About Schulich Leader Scholarships:

Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarships awarded to high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at participating universities in Canada and Israel. Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100 million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage our best and brightest students to be the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation. This program awards 100 scholarships annually, valued at more than $5 million. Schulich Leaders can devote their full time and attention to their studies, as all of their financial needs are covered over the course of their degree. As a result, many of our highest potential students are winning these scholarships and will make great contributions to society.

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