UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 1 | Jan.
Super Students With Diverse Resumes Win Top Scholarships
Grades alone wont make the mark.
By Erica Smishek
Their resumes list more accomplishments and activities than
many adults can claim in a lifetime. Yet theyre only
recent high school graduates, all starting their second terms
Heather Buckley, Lik Hang Lee, Edward Man-Tsun Cheung and
David Wei Si are the 2002 recipients of the Bank of Montreal
National Scholarships. The undergraduate scholarships are
each valued at $40,000 over four years and rank among the
premier university awards in Canada.
They are awarded to students entering UBC from high school
or transferring from other institutions who demonstrate academic
excellence in combination with significant contributions to
the community through volunteerism, athletics or artistic
My biggest challenge was time management, trying to
handle academics and activities, Si says of a high school
career at Fraser Heights Secondary in Surrey that included
student council, leadership and global issues teams, the student
newsletter, the theatre club, rugby, volleyball, basketball
and swimming, the Youth Leadership Millennium, Centennial
Toast-masters Club and Canadian Cancer Society, among others.
He was also the top Grade 11 and 12 science student at his
You have to study smart so you save time, he
explains. You cant just cram five hours of studying
in because you dont have those five hours.
All the scholarship recipients say their level of participation
increased as they moved through the school system. All say
they took on activities because they enjoyed and were challenged
by them, not because they would look good on a resume or scholarship
I wasnt unique in terms of the amount of my commitments,
Buckley says of life at Calgarys Western Canada High
School. But nothing came naturally for me. When I succeeded,
it was worth more to me, it was a real challenge to keep going.
When I was successful, it was because I had to work at it.
As part of the scholarship application process, the students
had stated their ultimate educational and career objectives.
Most are already re-thinking their goals in light of the new
classes and experiences theyre finding at UBC.
My stated goal was medicine but Im just not sure
now, says Cheung, a Science One student from Handsworth
Secondary in North Vancouver. In these short four months,
Ive opened my eyes to new options and different programs
of study. There are lots of interesting things out there.
With different academic challenges and new homes (three of
the four are living in residence), the students had limited
their extra-curricular activities in the first term but are
slowly taking on commitments that mean a lot to them.
Lee, for example, has joined the First-year Committee, Science
Undergraduates Society, and the Emerging Leaders Initia-tive,
a program designed to help first-year students develop the
skills, attitudes and knowledge they need to prepare them
to take leadership roles at UBC and beyond.
Its very hard to define what leadership means
to me, says Lee, a graduate of David Thompson Secondary
in Vancouver. Its just a way of life and a lifestyle.
Its something I try to do -- I try to be a leader and
help people and serve my community.