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Extraordinary News on an Ordinary Day

Nadia Breault was working on a beach in Northeastern Ontario while Erin Rebello was at home in Scarborough looking for a Zoom link when they found out they'd each been awarded $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarships.

Nadia and Erin, together with Alexander Vicol, Nethra Wickramasinghe and Daniel Sampson, are the 2021 Schulich Leader Scholarship recipients in the Faculty of Science. Five students in the Faculty of Engineering also received Canada's most coveted entrance scholarships for high school graduates enrolling in science, technology, engineering or mathematics programs at 20 Canadian universities. Nadia and Erin, who are living in the same residence, struck up a friendship after heading out the door at the same time for a Schulich Leaders reception on campus.

Nadia Breault"When I found out I was a Schulich Leader, I was working as a labourer for the City of Timiskaming Shores, waiting until the beach opened for the summer so I could begin my job as a lifeguard," says Nadia, a first-year Mathematics & Statistics student. "So when I got the email that I had been awarded the scholarship I was emptying garbage cans. As you would suspect I was in shock and told my co-worker who didn’t really believe me until he heard me call my mom. I could barely speak but between my gasps for air and shrieks of glee she soon figured out the great news. I continued picking up garbage for the rest of the day in a state of shock." 

Erin RebelloErin, a first-year student in Integrated Science, had a similar reaction. "I first found out that I was selected as a Schulich Leader while looking for a Zoom link. It was a weekday afternoon, and I was scanning my emails in search of a Zoom link to an important student council meeting. At that point in time, I thought that all the Schulich Leaders for McMaster University were already selected, so imagine my surprise when I saw the email titled 'Congrats! You are a Schulich Leader!' at the very top of my inbox. I must have re-read the email 10 times before it sank in, before running downstairs to tell my mom. We were both literally jumping for joy, and she called my dad and extended family while I rushed back to my computer to attend the Student Council meeting."

Out of 1,500 applications, 100 students from across Canada were chosen to receive Schulich Scholarships based on academic excellence, leadership, creativity and charisma, with strong consideration for financial need. 
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McMaster University | Faculty of Science