Two VSB students win prestigious scholarship

Schools & Students

Two Vancouver students are among just 34 across Canada to be named Loran Scholars for 2018. The scholarships, which recognize character, community commitment and long-term leadership potential, are worth more than $100,000 for post-secondary study over four years.

Templeton Secondary student Nick Murray wants to become an entrepreneur in the medical field, bridging the gap between academia and commerce to make devices widely available that will help doctors improve healthcare around world. Winning the Loren Scholarship will help him realize the first stage of that ambition by allowing him to study biomedical engineering. He has applied to the University of Toronto, McMaster University in Hamilton and Queen’s University in Kingston.

“I gave my mom a thumbs up,” the 17-year-old says, recalling when he heard he had been selected as a Loran Scholar. “It was hard to listen to the phone call because I was so excited.”

While the financial support is helpful to Nick, he’s particularly happy about the access the scholarship will give him to mentorship, networking and summer learning opportunities.

The Grade 12 student credits the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program at Templeton with developing his interest in his specialist area.

“I have a really great teacher in the STEM program who helped me realize what I was passionate about and gave me chances to learn to do things I wouldn’t otherwise have done,” he says.

Murray has given back to Templeton by using his connections from an outside entrepreneurship program to bring speakers to talk to students. “I wanted to showcase in my school some really interesting and inspiring entrepreneurs,” he adds.

Outside of school, Murray volunteers as a baseball coach and companion for children with disabilities.

For Nika Asgari, a Grade 12 student at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary, the scholarship will allow her to study International Relations. She has applied to the University of Toronto.

“I was crying, I was in shock,” says Asgari of the moment she heard she had won the scholarship. “It means everything to me. It means I have the opportunity to go to the school of my dreams and actually achieve the goals I want to achieve in my life.”

Asgari’s ambition is to be a diplomat.

“I’m all about empowering women in developing countries and creating more than one narrative,” she adds. “People are complex and you can’t put everyone into one box. I’m about creating awareness and creating inclusiveness and being a global citizen, helping people beyond our borders.”

The 17-year-old has already been making a difference through her work at Tupper. She created her own school organization called SOS Club, which provides aid to people in countries that have experienced a crisis like a hurricane or earthquake.

Asgari is also student council president, part of the debate club and a member of the Link Crew, which helps Grade 8 students settle into the school.

She says staff and students at Tupper have been very welcoming, flexible and supportive.

“A lot of the things I wanted to achieve were unconventional,” she says. “They pushed me to reach those goals and make my pursuit a reality.”

Nika Asgari