Science student wins biggest undergrad scholarship in Canada
Margaux Roncière, who will be graduating from Dawson College in Pure and Applied Science this spring, has won Canada’s largest undergraduate award: the Loran Award.
“It was unreal when I heard the news!” Margaux told Dawson Communications. “I am very happy and surprised! It is still settling in.”
Margaux applied in the fall and went through a rigorous selection process culminating in an all-expenses paid trip to Toronto for national interviews the weekend of Feb. 1-2. The Loran Scholars Foundation announced the news nationally Feb. 13.
Apart from good marks, the selection committee was looking for leadership and good character traits.
Concern for equal opportunities
From the age of seven, Margaux has been concerned about equal access to opportunities, and she has been involved with several development and capacity building projects. “The project closest to my heart was the Yuva Project in Nepal. This was an initiative begun by a group of eight students at my high school.
“We had two goals: to establish a multimedia space for students in a school of Kathmandu, and to reduce the barriers to education for girls through building awareness about menstruation and providing sanitary supplies. I was so motivated by our results,” Margaux said.
Margaux’s Dawson experience
At Dawson College, Margaux continued to develop academically and personally. “One of my favourite things about Dawson,” she said, “is that you get to meet people from very different backgrounds. It allows you to grow as a person and see different perspectives.
“Dawson faculty and staff also really encourage us to get involved,” Margaux said. “For example, teacher Jonathon Sumner accompanied me and other students from Dawson to the Déplace de l’air physics competition, and student nurse Julie Gosselin is supporting the implementation of a jack.org chapter at Dawson.”
In addition to her studies and development projects, Margaux is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters, and enjoys oil and acrylic painting, and designing and sewing clothes.
An investment in the future
“The Loran Award is Canada’s largest and most comprehensive four-year undergraduate award,” the Loran Scholars Foundation said in a statement. “This award is unique because it is an investment in a potential future path of high impact. Loran poses a lifelong challenge to its scholars to live outstanding lives of character and take on significant leadership roles, which will positively impact their communities, Canada, and the world around us. “
Margaux’s life will change by joining this community of Loran Scholars. “I was never considering studying out of province, but that is a requirement for Loran Scholars,” she said. Margaux has not yet decided which university she will attend, but has her heart set on pursuing a career helping people living with disabilities. To follow this dream, she intends to study biomedical engineering.
Chosen from over 5,000 applicants
Margaux is one of 36 exceptional young Canadians chosen by the Loran Scholars Foundation from a pool of 5,194 applicants. Loran Scholars demonstrate a firm commitment to character, service and leadership potential; breadth in academic and extra-curricular interests; integrity; and a high level of personal autonomy. Margaux is one of seven Loran scholars from Quebec this year.
Loran Scholars receive a renewable four-year award comprising an annual living stipend and matching tuition waiver from one of the foundation’s 25 partner universities; tri-sectoral summer internships funding (enterprise, public policy, and community development); one-on-one mentorship; and the opportunity to connect with other high-potential youth through scholar gatherings.
Following their undergraduate studies, Loran Scholars are welcomed into an engaged alumni community, in which former scholars connect and collaborate through regional hubs and larger reunion events. Margaux will be connected to other Dawson alumni who have won the prestigious award: Diane de Kerckhove in 1992, Melanie Derynck Lightstone in 2002, and Ariel Charney in 2011.
Congratulations from Dawson’s DG
“Margaux’s amazing story shows us how motivation and commitment can lead to the highest achievements,” said Richard Filion, Director General of Dawson College. “Since her early years, Margaux has been determined to do something that would really make a difference in people’s lives.
“Her story shows what is possible to accomplish when you get involved in real-life projects. It provides you with the confidence, knowledge and skillset that empowers you to give life to your dreams, which education should be all about. Dawson is proud to have Margaux as one of our students. Congratulations Margaux and all the best for this exciting new journey.”