Surrey student named a Loran Scholar

Kwantlen Park Secondary student Shakti Ramkumar is one of 30 teens nationwide to be named a Loran Scholar, landing her up to $80,000 in funding. - Evan Seal / The Leader
Kwantlen Park Secondary student Shakti Ramkumar is one of 30 teens nationwide to be named a Loran Scholar, landing her up to $80,000 in funding.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

A Surrey high school student who was recently featured in The Leader after a unique expedition to Antarctica has now been named a recipient of a national award worth up to $80,000.

Shakti Ramkumar, a Kwantlen Park Secondary Grade 12 student, is among 30 graduating high school students from across the country chosen from nearly 3,500 applicants as a Loran Scholar by the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation.

“These students have shown integrity, determination, and an entrepreneurial spirit through the breadth and depth of their extracurricular activities,” said Franca Gucciardi, executive director of the foundation and a 1990 Loran Scholar. “These are traits that Canada’s future leaders need to succeed and contribute to a thriving society.”

According to the foundation, the top 30 students were chosen on the basis of "character, service and leadership potential."

Ramkumar heads the global awareness club at her school and co-founded an environmental club that created a community garden and helps maintain a neighbourhood park. She also

volunteers at various City of Surrey events and is involved with the youth sustainability network.

It was her environmental stewardship that led her to Antarctica in December with Students on Ice, which offers youth from around the world such expeditions to give them better understanding of the planet.

The selection process included regional and national interviews over three months. A total of 73 finalists participated in two days of interviews in Toronto in mid-February. The finalists who were not selected receive a $3,000 award.

Merit scholarships for those named Loran Scholars may be used at one of 25 partner universities, and include a $9,000 annual stipend and tuition waiver, a summer program with funding up to $8,500, a week-long expedition to Algonquin Park in Ontario, and a one-on-one mentorship and participation in the community with past and present Loran Scholars.

There were six other B.C. students among the top 30. For more information, check

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