Kerilyn Kennedy, a Grade 12 student at Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School, could become the recipient of a Loran Award, described as “Canada’s most comprehensive undergraduate scholarship for character, service and leadership.”
Kennedy is one of 84 finalists across Canada, including six from Nova Scotia. More than 4,400 names were submitted.
Kennedy, a Fairmont, Antigonish County resident, was nominated by her school and went through a day of comprehensive regional interviews, in Halifax, in early December.
“It’s pretty incredible … it’s nice to get recognized for the things I do,” Kennedy said when talking to the Casket Jan. 25.
A passage in the release, announcing Kennedy as one of the finalists, speaks to her activities.
“For the past five years, Kerilyn has been teaching athletic and life skills to children as a volunteer with various programs. She is the captain of several sports teams, a weekly breakfast program volunteer and an active member of the 4-H club,” the release reads.
“Kerilyn also assists a student with disabilities and participates in student council. She works on a dairy farm and for a catering company.”
With so much on her plate, Kennedy talked about the skill she has developed to help juggle a busy schedule.
“Really, I’ve developed good time management skills,” she said.
“I work five days a week, volunteer a couple of days a week, I play rugby and hockey and I go to the gym and all those other kinds of things. So, a lot of the time I have to make schedules and say, OK, if I have this activity then I can go to the gym at this time, or maybe I don’t have time because a test popped up. It’s just really balancing and making sure I don’t overbook.
“I’m so busy that sometimes, after school, I don’t get home until 9 p.m. because I go from volunteering to work to a sport … who knows what,” she added.
She will attend the Loran Scholars Foundation’s national selections in Toronto, Feb. 3 and 4, where 32 Loran Scholars will be selected. The Loran Award includes a $10,000 annual stipend, tuition waivers from one of 25 partner universities, mentorship, summer internship funding, as well as annual retreats and forums.
Kennedy talked about traveling to Toronto for the selection process.
“I think it’s going to be a great experience,” she said.
“When I was selected at the regional level, it was a series of interviews and I had never done interviews before because the job I have was just like [through] a neighbour connection. I went through four interviews not knowing how it would go and they went fairly well so, I think, in Toronto, it sounds like it’s going to be kind of the same idea.
“And, even if I don’t win, it will be a great experience meeting new people and gaining more interview skills.”
She talked about her plans for next year, which could be benefit from the award.
“I’m hoping to take a Bachelor of Science somewhere … I’m not sure where I want to go yet,” she said.
“Either a Bachelor of Science or Actuarial Science, I’ve looked at that at some schools as well. Whether I want to become an actuary or go into something else in the science department, probably majoring in math, that’s what I’m interested in.
“I’ve looked at Queen’s, Waterloo and Western, all in Ontario. I would like to get out and try a new experience … for sure, traveling is something I enjoy.”
Kennedy acknowledged her parents as helping her achieve in school, with sports and, overall, with her busy schedule.
“They try and adapt to my schedule,” she said. “If I’m busy they’ll try to have supper in between my activities … they’re really helpful.”