The Loran Scholars Foundation offers Canada’s largest and most comprehensive four-year undergraduate award to young students based on character, service, and the promise of leadership.
Central Collegiate Grade 12 student Liv Erickson is one of the 90 Loran Award finalists across the country. The 17-year-old is one of four finalists from Saskatchewan, and the only finalist from Moose Jaw.
“I’m still shocked,” says Erickson. “On the phone interview, I had to get him to repeat what he said to me when he told me that I made it to nationals... It's really exciting, I’m overjoyed. I can’t wait for the experience, and I’m honestly just proud that I got this far.”
Erickson went through a series of interviews, essays, and meetings, which led to her being one of the top students out of nearly 4,800 applicants.
“Close to the beginning of the school year, we had a form we had to fill out,” Erickson explains. “We had to write some small essays, and answer questions about yourself, like any other scholarship application, but a bit longer compared to most... From there, we heard back from them if we moved forward to round 2.”
Round two was an online interview consisting of personal questions to be answered in a certain amount of time. The list would narrow down to the semi-finalists based on the contestant's answers.
“Semifinals was a whole day online through Zoom. We got to talk to other candidates, and hear from past winners. We learned lots about the award, and then did one-on-one interviews, as well as a panel interview.”
After the semifinals, about 90 students got a call back to be in the Loran National Interviews taking place in Toronto from February 24 to 26.
Winners of the scholarship will receive a Loran Award valued at more than $100,000 over their four-year undergraduate studies.
“If I’m being entirely honest, I didn’t think I’d ever make it this far,” says Erickson. “For me, it was more of an experience thing. I wanted to apply to have that experience, but of course, I wouldn’t have applied if part of me didn’t want the scholarship either.”
Erickson plans to go to university where she will work to increase small changes in societies, with the hopes of creating more sustainable environments around the world.
“[The scholarship] is based on community work and community leaders, and that’s exactly what I want to be one day. I want to help with environmental initiatives within my community. I’ve always cared about that sort of stuff, so this seemed like a ‘me’ thing.”
She closed out the interview with these final remarks:
“You are not powerless. Everyone can make a change. It might feel like there's that insurmountable feeling when it comes to things like climate change, or social issues, but it’s one step at a time. You don’t have to tackle everything in the world... Take something that excites you, and motivates you, and run with it.”