If the answer is no, this is one blog you should read. I’m here to tell you, you might be missing out on a great opportunity to help your students reach their full potential and for your school to benefit the way thousands have across the country.
I personally owe a lot to SHAD. I attended the summer program in 1991 at Acadia University when I was 18. Never before had I been with such a large group of like-minded peers. Everywhere I turned was someone just as curious and interested in learning as I was! That didn’t happen all that often at my high school and it pushed me in new ways. The program introduced me to new subjects we never studied in high school - oceanography, biotechnology, genetics, and so much more! SHAD was my first opportunity to work on a software team and I fell in love with it. I discovered a university major – computer science – that fascinated me and ultimately this led to a satisfying and challenging career as a software developer working for large telecommunications companies such as Nortel.
Kyle is pictured here second from the left at SHAD in 1991, preparing to drop an egg-protecting device
The entire SHAD experience was truly so life-changing that I jumped at the opportunity to give back to SHAD in 2013 and to help other young Canadians see and reach their potential.
I now have two roles at SHAD. Each summer I am a faculty member at SHAD’s UBC campus where I mentor students and run workshops on software, math, photography, and bird watching, which is another of my many passions.
During the school year, I tour Canada to promote SHAD as one of our outreach coordinators. It’s a great way to see the country, connect with diverse people, and find diamond-in-the-rough students who would be great SHADs.
My goal is to ensure that every Canadian high school educator and student knows about the SHAD enrichment program. Perhaps you know a student or two to recommend. I’d love to hear from you! We look for students with great potential who have a passion to learn and to make a difference in their community and beyond. At SHAD, students learn not just science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics, and entrepreneurship, but important personal and life lessons. It's the pre-university experience of a lifetime but the opportunities don't end when participants leave their campus. There are internships, scholarships, campus clubs, network opportunities, and venture capital funding that are only available to SHAD Fellows.
Some high schools have many SHAD applicants every year but others, particularly in rural and more remote parts of the country where SHAD isn’t as well-known, haven’t ever had an applicant, and that’s a shame. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is to present SHAD at a school that has never had an applicant and watch as those students are offered a place, attend the program, and come back a new person. When they return to their high school, they can’t wait to tell their younger classmates to apply, and they complete the SHAD virtuous circle!
It is one thing to know how SHAD impacted my life but it’s another thing entirely to see firsthand how much all 60 students who attend each of our 13 university campuses grow in only one month.
I’d love to visit your school and give a short presentation especially if you are at one of the schools I highlighted above with little SHAD history. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no application fee and an extensive scholarship and bursary program is available to ensure that no student is ever turned away due to finances. Maybe one of your students will have their life changed as much as mine was by SHAD!