An Indigenous North Vancouver student described as a “change-maker” by teachers has been selected for one of Canada’s most coveted undergraduate scholarships.
Raven Caron, a Seycove Secondary graduate, is one of only 100 bright students across the country to receive a $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship in 2021 toward his future education.
The scholarships are awarded to entrepreneurial-minded high school graduates enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or math program across 20 partner universities in Canada. Every high school can nominate just one graduating student each year to apply.
With the scholarship under his belt, Caron is set to study engineering at the University of British Columbia, starting this fall.
Kerry Henderson, Seycove Scholarship chair, said she nominated him for his “outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements and contributions to the Seycove community.”
"Raven Caron is one of five very deserving students receiving the Schulich Leader Scholarship in engineering,” she stated in the release.
“He is a builder of robots, designer of websites, and proud representative of his Indigenous heritage. As a change-maker, Raven is determined to explore new engineering worlds for the betterment of all.”
A student ahead of the pack, in Grade 8 Raven was already tackling Grade 10 classes online, said Andrea Yeo, Indigenous support teacher at Seycove.
“By the end of Grade 11, it was no surprise to see him put his name forward to be on grad council and, of course, his grad class nominated him to be on the team,” Yeo said.
Always happy to lend a hand to others, she said Caron often helped to organize and participate in many school-wide assemblies and “always spoke of his Indigenous roots with pride.”
“This school year has been a struggle for all students, but especially for the Grade 12s,” she said. “Despite having already completed all of the requirements to graduate, Raven has continued to attend school to tutor younger students in math.”
For Margie Arnold, Seycove counsellor, Caron has always stood out as a “unique, curious and multi-talented learner.”
“He has always been one to seek out opportunities to develop his mind, nurture his passions and put his fantastic creativity and problem-solving skills to good use,” she said.
“Raven always follows a path true to himself and gives his absolute all to everything he does."
Caron, who is Anishnawbek First Nation, an Ojibway First Nation in northern Ontario, said the scholarship had inspired him “since the first day I walked the halls of Seycove.”
“My experience has proven to me that determination, persistence and connections with peers and adults alike are invaluable,” he said.
“I will use this opportunity to have a stronger impact on innovation and leadership within our country. Representing fellow Indigenous youth in STEM and in business is my future."
He said there were many people who helped him along the way with advice and advocacy, and he thanked them all for believing in him.
“This achievement is not mine alone,” he said. “I stand on the shoulders of my teachers, administration, mentors and family.”
Rob McLeod, Seycove principal, echoed his colleagues’ praise for Caron, saying he has become an integral part of the school community, and an impressive leader and mentor for his fellow students.
“Raven exemplifies the standards we strive for in community, compassion, and excellence; his ‘leadership by example’ has had a lasting impact on everyone he works with,” he said.
Caron is the fourth student to win a Schulich Leader Scholarship at Seycove in recent years.
The scholarships were established in 2012 by Seymour Schulich, a businessman and philanthropist who recognized the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations.
Given the unprecedented challenges this year in Canada, Schulich Leader Scholarships Canada again awarded an additional 50 scholarships, for a total of 100.
“This group of 100 outstanding students will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer and will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale,” Schulich said.
“With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures.
“They are the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded, technology innovators."
Elisia Seeber is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.