Brookswood student goes to Shad Valley

Laura Stepney of Brookswood Secondary School will be attending the award-winning Shad Valley program in July 2011.

She was selected from more than 1,000 applicants across Canada. Shad Valley participants are exposed to science and innovation in a fun, team-based environment, and encouraged to grow in ways they never anticipated.

Shad Valley, a non-profit for over 30 years, takes place at 10 universities around the country. Participants gain firsthand experience of campus life. Five hundred of the nation’s brightest high school students converge in an atmosphere centred on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology.

Through lectures, workshops and team-building activities run by university faculty and industry leaders, students are exposed to advanced topics.

that don’t regularly feature in the high school curriculum. This exposure, combined with Shad Valley’s outstanding reputation, give participants a strong advantage when applying to university and in their future careers.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is crucial to increasing productivity in Canada and keeping the country competitive on the world stage. Shad Valley is playing its part by planting the seeds of innovation and entrepreneurship early in high school students,” says Barry Bisson, president of Shad Valley. “As a means of helping to develop their entrepreneurial mindset, a key part of the program is a national entrepreneurship competition that simulates a start-up venture, requiring student teams to prepare business plans, complete patent searches and design prototypes.”

Acceptance to Shad Valley is a highly-competitive, application-based process. Participants have top marks and a strong community focus, and come from all socioeconomic backgrounds. A financial awards package (scholarships and bursaries) provides assistance to successful candidates who need support towards their participant fee. The program gives students an academic head start for university and the confidence needed to become future leaders.

“We are building tomorrow’s industry and academic leaders by instilling a spirit of excellence in them and exposing them to science and business in a dynamic group environment. The strong sense of community that is created for participants is one of Shad Valley’s strengths,” says Bisson. “Students leave the program feeling connected to other highly motivated and exceptional students and benefit from a significant life-long competitive advantage. When they are at university or looking for jobs, Shad Valley alumni are there to support each other. With Shad Valley’s 30-year history and almost 12,000 alumni, there are many people to draw on.”

Shad Valley looks for students in Grades 10, 11 or 12 with:

– high academic achievement, with a passion for science, engineering, math or technology

– exceptional drive, initiative, creativity, and an entrepreneurial mind

– excellence and leadership in diverse pursuits, including athletics, the arts and work

– strong volunteer impact and outstanding interpersonal skills

These students become Top 20 Under 20 winners, Top 40 Under 40 honourees, Rhodes Scholars, Entrepreneur of the Year recipients, patent holders, senior executives and business owners, to list a few of their many accomplishments. Participants have distinct talents, come from diverse backgrounds and bring different skills to the program. One may be a math genius, while a second is a celebrated musician, a third is a robotics mastermind and another is a black belt in karate. All are well-rounded and excel academically, and learn how to successfully work together in teams.

“At Shad Valley, we inspire participants to dream big and achieve their full potential,” concludes Bisson. “The personal growth that participants experience is life-changing and transformational. With increased confidence, exposure to innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, and enhanced problem-solving skills, Shad Valley alumni are ready to make a strong impact on Canada and the world.”

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