John Milkovich


Mayfield Secondary School
Caledon, ON

Q: How did you feel when you received the news?
A: I was walking through Toronto with family and I got the phone call. I asked them, “are you sure?!” Right at that moment I thought “Woah, SHAD was competitive and I got in after thinking I wouldn’t, and now I am a Loran Scholar after thinking I wouldn’t. “Before SHAD, I’d heard how life-changing it can be, but I always thought to myself “how life-changing could it really be?” I wanted to take a risk and apply to SHAD knowing how competitive it was. I had the same mindset for Loran. SHAD definitely made me grasp opportunities more. Going to SHAD I was from a small town, naive about the world, and when I went to SHAD I saw how driven everyone was. It inspired me to be the same. It was an eye-opening experience for me.

Q: How significant is it for you personally to become a Loran Scholar?
A: For me it’s going to be really powerful. The financial support is overwhelming, but what really attracted me were the opportunities — Loran is opening doors I never thought would be possible.

Q: What are you hoping to do?  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? Something in particular that made you perhaps stand out to the selection committee?
A: I have a passion for STEM. I knew I was strong in science and math. I could have become a doctor or an engineer. I was so set on medicine before SHAD, but working on the design engineering project to solve a social problem (in 2017 it was meaningfully reducing Canadian’s energy footprint) exposed me to engineering. SHAD allowed me to discover passions and values that helped me decide a new career path – bio-medical engineering. McMaster, Western, UBC and McGill are top choices. The Loran scholarship is going to give me confidence to apply to all of them. I’m not sure what I want to do, but I do want to help people in special needs communities.

Q: If applicable, how much of a role did being a SHAD Fellow have in your selection to be a Loran Scholar?  Did being a SHAD Fellow come up in your application or in your interview?
A: Discovering my values at SHAD allowed me to have the confidence to apply to the Loran Award. One of the things I discovered at SHAD is that working with a team is so, so important. I learned a lot of life lessons that made me understand how to cooperate in a team environment. Being a good leader – I understood what a leader is from SHAD. My Program Assistant, Justin, in Calgary, had a huge impact on me. He and I had a few great heart-to-heart talks and he told me he always feared failure but then eventually used failure as a way to learn and motivate. I referenced this learning from him in my Loran interview. He taught me to learn from failure – fail forward not backwards. My brother Mathew was nominated for SHAD and is going this summer.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway from SHAD?
A: SHAD taught me certain lessons which allowed me to discover my passions and experiences, without which I wouldn’t have been able to apply to the Loran Award. I came out of SHAD emerging with NEW confidence – I want to have an impact on my community and the broader world.

Q: SHAD now has 88 Loran scholars…What does that say to you and what should it say to others about the value of SHAD?
A: It shows that SHADs have the same values as the Loran: character, leadership, service. Integrity and humility are two qualities I discovered at SHAD that allowed me to successfully become a Loran Scholar.

Meet other Fellow 2018 Loran Scholars