Twins win Shad scholarship

September 22, 2005, vol. 34, no. 2
By Julie Ovenell-Carter

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Their path to university started in a valley and ended up on a mountain - Burnaby Mountain.

In the summer of 2004, at the end of their Grade 11 year, West Vancouver twins Sean and Dan Edmond attended Shad Valley, a non-profit government- and industry-sponsored science and leadership program for high-performing teens.

As alumni of that prestigious and competitive program, the brothers were eligible to compete for one of the newly created SFU entrance scholarships aimed specifically at Shad graduates - and happily for the family dynamic, both 18-year-olds claimed one of the six $24,000 Gordon M. Shrum Shad Valley scholarships.

Sean and Dan, who earned the respect of their West Vancouver senior secondary peers and teachers - not to mention two substantial Millennium scholarships - for their community service work in Vancouver's downtown eastside, also received offers from the University of British Columbia, Queen's, Waterloo, and the University of Toronto.

But in the end, says Sean, the choice to attend SFU “didn't come down to just money. We want a good education above everything. We're both thinking of careers in engineering, or something related to technology, and there are so many excellent resources here, so many interesting people to talk to and professors to learn from.”

Adds Dan: “I want to hopefully find a passion for something that I will enjoy doing for years to come. Shad Valley was just the tip of the iceberg, opening our eyes to the possibilities offered by different disciplines. There's even more to discover here.”

SFU is the first Canadian university to offer special entrance scholarships to Shad Valley alumni. Registrar Ron Heath says the awards recognize the “leadership, community spirit and intellectual spark” of Shad graduates - “precisely the kind of students we want to attract to this university.” He notes that Shad claims several science industry leaders and 16 Rhodes scholars among its alumni.

Recent Shad alumni Patrick Belliveau, Elaine Chow, Junior Tu, and Travis Wong also received Shrum Shad scholarships to attend SFU in 2005-06.

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