Being a good student isn’t always easy or fun, but working hard and taking part in extra-curricular activities has paid off for one local graduate.
Nikita-Kiran Singh, 18, said she is grateful for the support she received from her family during her school career, but that it was her hard work and persistence that has gotten her where she is.
To date, Singh has been nominated for, and received, $103,000 in scholarships for her efforts throughout high school.
“It’s really important to realize that in order to stand out and be unique you need to pursue something you’re passionate about and display the commitment.”
Singh said to get where she is she worked extremely hard through high school to achieve good grades and remain active in the school outside of class work.
“Volunteering is a big thing. I was always interested in medicine so I volunteered at the hospital. If you’re interested in something like animals then maybe volunteer at the SPCA or something else suited to your likes.”
Singh said in order for students’ applications for scholarships to stand out against all others they have to have a passion and drive for something that they truly care about.
It is important for students to realize too that you can’t just realize in Grade 12 that volunteering is a criteria for scholarships, said Singh.
“When they award scholarships they’re looking for long term commitment and substantial involvement. It’s not just your marks that they consider. Everybody wants to do well in school but not everyone is willingly involved in their community. That stands out.”
She also said it is important to learn time management from a young age and that she is grateful for her parents and all the support they gave her to get to this point.
“I’ve always loved being busy so it came naturally to find lots of things to do. I learned early on to manage my time well and that enabled me to do everything that I was interested in.”
She recently graduated from Hunting Hills High School and has plans to attend the University of Alberta with the scholarships she has been awarded.
“It’s almost overwhelming. I still can’t even believe that it’s such a big number.”
She plans to major in biological sciences and would eventually like to end up with a career in medicine, though she’s not sure where she will end up precisely inside that field.
Singh said it is important for students to work hard through school if they plan to attend post-secondary institutions and to apply for scholarships when they can.
She said as much as school is about the academics, there is more to it than that.
“It’s not just all reading and studying. You have to be very well rounded and I owe that to my parents. These scholarships are as much a reflection of them as of me.”
The Schulich Leader Scholarship that Singh received is worth $60,000. The nomination for this scholarship came from the principal at Hunting Hills, Karyn Barber. Singh was one of 40 recipients of the 2012 Schulich Leader Scholarship.
The school’s guidance councillor congratulated Singh on her accomplishments saying that the contributions Singh made to Hunting Hills were what earned her the recognition.
Singh said she will be spending this summer going on a vacation with her family and purchasing furniture for her one-bedroom apartment in residence at the University of Alberta.
“I’m excited for the experience of going somewhere new and being able to take the courses that I’m interested in and meeting new people as well as the whole experience of starting a new chapter in my life.”
Singh said other students, even those who maybe aren’t sure where they want to end up, should know that there is always something available to them to take part in.
“High school is your opportunity to explore. There is always something you might be interested in, maybe not everything, but something.”