Paying for university expenses will be no problem for Lewisporte’s Gaia Noseworthy,18.
The Lewisporte Collegiate graduate is heading to university in the fall with an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship.
“Reading that email and seeing the amount, it was surreal. I was floored,” Noseworthy told The Central Voice. “I told my parents and my Dad had to call the person who sent the email to confirm I was actually the winner, he was so shocked by it.”
Each year, high schools across Canada can nominate a student for one of 50 Schulich Leader Scholarships. These university entrance scholarships, established in 2012 by businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, are awarded to students enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at 20 partner universities in Canada.
Noseworthy, who describes themselves as a ‘Jack of all Trades’ in their interests, is starting a concurrent bachelor of computer science and bachelor of mathematical physics co-op program at the University of New Brunswick in September.
“I’ve been enthralled with theoretical physics for a long time now - wormholes, black holes string theory, all of it,” Noseworthy said. “It’s a heavy science field that uses a lot of computer simulation and a lot of math, I kind of wanted to get all of that at once.”
The path to receiving this Schulich Leader Scholarship started when Noseworthy attended the SHAD enrichment program in the summer of 2017. After SHAD, which Noseworthy describes as ‘one of the greatest months’ of their life, they were encouraged to apply to a variety of programs. This led to attending Encounters with Canada (a national youth forum), and to participating in Youth Parliament, Math League, and the Euclid Math Test.
Noseworthy feels that attending a smaller school gave them an advantage when it came to applying for activities and scholarships. Not only were fewer students applying for placements but they say that teachers can offer more support to individuals in a smaller school.
“Smaller schools can be more dedicated to students than to the grades,” Noseworthy says. “The biggest advantage is having a bunch of teachers who have the ability and the time to care for the students the way that teachers in bigger schools might not have the ability to do.”
That individual support was key for Noseworthy.
“Aside from my parents, Paul and Daphne Noseworthy, who helped to push me to be the best person I can be, I have had a lot of support from teachers,” Noseworthy says, noting, “My guidance counsellor, Angie Willmott, the amount of effort that she put in for me is astronomical. Michael Gale, my chemistry teacher, he believed in me long before some teachers even knew my name. And my music teacher, Adam Baxter, my math teacher, Kirk Bussey, and my vice-principal, Kris White. Those are the people in my high school that pushed me the most.”
They also credit their girlfriend, Rebecca, with helping them to achieve.
“Rebecca has pushed me to do things I have been trying to do for a long time,” Noseworthy says. “She has been one of the pillars holding me up ever since I met her.”
They also credit the SHAD program with helping them to see the opportunities that are available for youth to develop leadership skills.
Noseworthy has some advice for other students who are seeking scholarships.
“Grades are not the most important thing. Do not put all of your time into your grades,” Noseworthy says. “Put your time into developing your leadership abilities and joining clubs. Build a diverse resume with examples of your leadership and how varied you are in doing everything you can for your community and for the people around you.”