SHAD 2014 saw the largest cohort of students in our 34-year history complete the program and hone their leadership and innovation skills while being immersed in STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math). Over 600 students participated in the July program at 12 host university campuses across Canada.
Every year I'm struck by the quality of the participants and the potential that they have to contribute to society. These are young people who apply from across the country and internationally, to attend the program based on their academic record and extracurricular involvement. They may be from small communities where they are one of only a few exceptional students in their school, or from urban areas where they have peers but lack enriched curriculum to advance their interest in STEM and entrepreneurship.
SHAD provides the opportunity for these students to be exposed to expert university faculty and industry spokespeople by attending lectures, workshops and seminars, and to collaborate with peers on group projects and even a simulated startup project.
The primary goal of the program is to help students find what we refer to at SHAD as their Uncommon Purpose: to envision their future potential and understand where their purpose and drive can lead. Many participants refer to SHAD as a transformational experience, after which they look at the world and their place in it in a different way.
SHAD is committed to the mission of providing that transformational experience to unleash the entrepreneurial and innovative potential of exceptional youth. We believe that it can’t be assumed that exceptional students will find their Uncommon Purpose without support. Just as potential star athletes are identified, coached and nurtured based on having the right attributes for success, we need to recognize key attributes and leadership traits of the most promising students and encourage them in their academic excellence.
In 2015, SHAD will celebrate its 35th anniversary, with more than 14,000 alumni living, working and contributing across Canada and beyond. It's an exciting milestone and a cause to celebrate the achievements of all our SHADs – with more innovation to come.
Barry, you have truly captured in my mind what Shad is all about. Although not an alumnus myself, I kind of feel like one. Being President of this organization from 1993-2003 was for me a transformational experience and the highlight of my career. I continue to follow Shad as it continues to evolve and project its Uncommon Purpose on a waiting cohort of Canada's future leaders. May you have continued success in this noble objective.
October 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM
I found it transformational when I attended in 1987 in Waterloo, and am very glad that Shad is still making a difference today.
October 16, 2014 at 3:50 PM
Our daughter, Marisa, really enjoyed and learned from her SHAD experience at Laval this past July. We appreciated the opportunity to expose her to this kind of enrichment, academic challenge and mentoring from SHAD faculty and alumni. Thank you!
October 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM
As a SHAD parent, I can attest to the exceptional quality of the program. It was a transformational experience not just for my son, but for the entire family. I am praying that my daughter gets in as well. Thank you SHAD for the wonderful memories you gave my son, and for the life-changing summer!