Future microbiologist Jack Stanley wants to make an impact

2017 Oak Bay High grad a Schulich Leader Scholar

Oak Bay High student Jack Stanley packs for the University of Toronto this September courtesy of an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship.

20 Canadian universities are responsible for selecting and awarding 25 Canadian STEM students with Schulich Leader Scholarships annually. Three Oak Bay High students – including this year’s Jack Stanley – have won the distinguished Schulich Leader Scholarship in the four years since the program’s launch.

In winning, Stanley says he owes plenty to his teacher Scott Alexander. “He helped me with writing a lot, and the reference letter.” He says part of the application process involved writing two short essays describing his interests in STEM study and drive for innovative success, along with his community engagement.

“I’ve always been involved in the community, mostly with sports, track and cross country teams,” Stanley said. He recently volunteered in an anatomy lab at the University of Victoria, where he was able to experience the real environment and practices of a research team.

Within his own school, he tries to engage others. “I try to create a club here [at Oak Bay High], a mathlete’s club. It’s basically a bunch of people who like math who come together and work on problems,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Stanley is grateful to the Schulich Leader Scholarship program and excited by what the scholarship brings. “It’s such a great opportunity. It gives you a good network of other winners too.” He plans to pursue microbiology at the University of Toronto this fall. “Originally I was thinking medicine, but then I thought I wanted a wider impact. [Microbiology] has the potential to have a great impact on people’s lives. Doing research, you’re contributing to a knowledge base and those things can be incorporated into a lot of different aspects like healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and more.”

Stanley thanks the Oak Bay community for helping students such as himself foster and pursue their ambitions. Oak Bay High’s biology and chemistry departments introduced him to the subjects he studies today. “The Oak Bay community has really helped me follow my passions and be free to be myself.”

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