Sydney Strocen, Shad2018, has been awarded with a prestigious Loran Award—a $100K investment for dedicated Grade 12 students pursuing an undergraduate degree. To date, 97 Shads have received the award. And like the rest, this year’s recipients are changemakers to keep an eye on!

Read below about Sydney’s reactions to being chosen and how Shad played a part.

Q: How did you feel when you received the news? 

A: When I received the call telling me I had been selected as a scholar, I was completely shocked. I didn’t have much to say to the person who called me, I just responded with one-word answers because I wasn’t fully comprehending what I just heard. I’m still not sure the whole experience has really hit me yet, I’m just so grateful to be given this opportunity and am very excited to see what lies ahead.

Q: How significant is it for you personally to become a Loran Scholar? 

A: For me, becoming a scholar means I’m now a part of a community that has faith in me, and will support me in finding new opportunities and guide me through university. I feel more secure going into university now that I have the resources to support me, and people I know I can rely on. It also means a lot to be selected as a scholar, because I know that there are people out there that believe I have potential. Knowing that others have that confidence in me makes me more confident in myself.

Q: What are you hoping to do after graduation? Do you have a long-term goal in mind in terms of the kind of change you’d like to make or be part of? 

A: I’m planning to go to university for engineering. While I don’t have any plans set in stone for what I want to achieve in the future, I know I’d like to do something that helps others, even if it’s only a small group of people.

Q: Do you believe your time at Shad had an impact on your Loran Award? 

A: Absolutely. My time at Shad changed my entire mindset about how I wanted to go forward in life, and made me more confident in my future pursuits. It was truly the best month of my life, and I can’t properly communicate how important it was to me. I, for the first time in my life, found people that I was able to mesh with and be comfortable around, and my time there changed me for the better. I gushed about Shad in every one of my Loran interviews, it most definitely had an impact on the outcome.

Q: What advice would you give an incoming Shad2020?

A: Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. I was very worried going into Shad, because I was initially waitlisted. I was honoured to have a spot at Shad but I was unsure how I would fit in. I thought everyone there was going to be smarter and more accomplished than me. But when I got there, I realized that what was on my resume didn’t matter, we all had our own important contributions. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share your viewpoints, you’ll end up learning a lot from the people you meet. Also, definitely sign up for the talent shows. I dressed up in a banana suit and did a magic trick at my Shad, so you really shouldn’t worry about doing something too out of the ordinary.


Read interviews with each of the other 4 Shads who were awarded the Loran Award.

We are always excited to see the progress and accomplishments of all of our Shad fellows, so if you have a story to tell, let us know.

Photo credit: Eric Choi (Edge Imaging)

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