Sudbury's Nethra Wickramasinghe wins $80K Schulich Leader Scholarship
Last year she received the Weston Youth Innovation Award, which celebrates young Canadian innovators
A Sudbury, Ont. teenager has been awarded a prestigious scholarship for those pursuing science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
Nethra Wickramasinghe, a Grade 12 student at Lockerby Composite school, has been awarded a Schulich Leader Scholarship. The $80,000 scholarship will cover her tuition for the next four years, as she studies statistics and math at McMaster University.
"I'm really glad because it takes a lot of pressure off of my parents, I think especially, to pay for university. And it makes receiving further education such an easier process, and that's really, really a blessing," she told Morning North CBC host Markus Schwabe.
Schulich Leader Scholarships are awarded to up to 100 Canadian students each year. As well as academic success, the awards are also based on leadership and community involvement.
Wickramasinghe says she hopes to one day work in research, but also has has a keen interest in STEM entrepreneurship.
"I hope to eventually one day be so situated in my career that I potentially have the opportunity to reach out to other youth and other young women who are interested in pursuing careers and opportunities in the STEM field, and hopefully encouraging them along their paths as well," she said.
"It's really been a door-opening opportunity that's really been predominant in my life so far."
The opportunities have been many, including going to the Canada Wide Science Fair four times, earning a bronze medal in 2017, silver in 2018 and gold in 2019. Last year she received the Weston Youth Innovation Award, which celebrates young Canadian innovators.
Wickramasinghe says she considers winning the Schulich Leader Scholarship "a huge honour, especially considering there's so many students who are nominated."
With files from Markus Schwabe and Sarah MacMillan