–with information from Jocelyn Gauther and the SHAD program, photos by Amy Lu
Sooke is home to Jocelyn Gauthier, a 17-year old student who has her sights set on becoming a medical doctor. Jocelyn was recently accepted into the SHAD program, a one-month program that runs in July. According to their website, “SHAD is a registered Canadian charity that empowers exceptional high school students to recognize their own capabilities and envision their extraordinary potential as tomorrow’s leaders and change makers.”
Jocelyn was born in China and raised in Sooke since she was two-and-a-half. She began her academically successful track at Teddy Bear House (pre-school), completed elementary at École Poirier, middle school at St Michael’s University School, and high school at Belmont.
Each year, SHAD provides an opportunity for a number of students across Canada (and beyond). Select students attend a month-long summer program in July. It’s an in-residence at one of our Canadian host universities, and students focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) skills. Students in Grades ten, eleven, or twelve (Secondaire IV, V, or CEGEP I in Quebec), or the international equivalent, may apply to SHAD. Application deadlines are in late November and mid-December (see Resources section below).
Question: What does it mean for you to participate in a program such as SHAD with all the other top students from around the country?
Jocelyn: I am honoured to be participating alongside the other top students from around the country in a program such as SHAD. It’s an amazing experience having the opportunity to work with like-minded people my own age.
Q: What are you hoping to get out of your experience at SHAD?
Jocelyn: I am hoping to gain confidence and to experience new perspectives, which I will be able to take with me in my future endeavours. I am enjoying the social aspect as well; meeting sixty five other students from across Canada opens new doors and possibilities for me.
Q: What are your aspirations and long term goals?
Jocelyn: One of my aspirations is to become a medical doctor and then specialize in a specific field. At the moment I am unsure as to what that will, but I am sure that through experience I will learn which field interests me the most. This career goal is well underway since I will be attending Simon Fraser University in the fall to study in their Biomedical and physiology program. I am very much looking forward to this new chapter in my life.
Q: SHAD exposes the students to experts in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) subjects that are going to fuel the new economy. How important do you feel it is going to be for her to be connected to a network like this that includes 30 Rhodes Scholars?
Jocelyn: SHAD is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Being part of this program offers huge possibilities and opportunities that we would not have been able to otherwise have. The connections that are created and offered through SHAD are priceless. It’s not only the people who we meet who have participated in the program throughout the years, but also the connections offered through the amazing people who come and give us lectures. Having all these invaluable connections is one of the many benefits to the SHAD program.
Q: The SHAD program helps the students reach their potential in many different ways including presenting the students with a real world design challenge when they are given a real economic or social problem and have to work in small groups to devise original product and service as a solution. This year the theme or challenge revolves around Food security—Canada is on the cusp of the 150th anniversary of Confederation….despite our advanced and developed economy, food security is a serious concern. In 1867, almost every Canadian grew their own food; currently that number is 3 per cent. How might we improve food security for Canadians?
Jocelyn: At the moment my group (Group 4) is still brain storming ideas. So we have come up with a few different ideas to improve the food security within Canada; however, we are unsure as to which idea we will use for the SHAD Cup.
Q: How much have you thought about this issue before? What are you and your group’s initial thoughts?
Jocelyn: I have only though of the issue of food security in Canada a few times before. My group’s initial thoughts were very varied. Some of us felt that if we focused more on the food security issues in the northern part of Canada that would be best, while others thought that focusing on food security in other parts would be the best approach.
Q: What you say to others in your hometown about SHAD and why they might consider applying next fall?
Jocelyn: I would say that anyone in my hometown who is eligible for SHAD and would be interested in the program should definitely apply. It’s hard to explain exactly what we do at SHAD and what kind of experience this is, but it’s definitely something that one should miss out on.