For the third year in a row, a Semiahmoo Secondary student has won a prestigious scholarship to study at Cambridge University.
The win by Anmol Jawandha – announced Monday – marks the first time in the history of the Blyth Cambridge Scholarship Trust that any school has had three students win the award, officials confirmed.
“Isn’t that amazing?” Semi principal Bea Hadikin beamed Tuesday. “I just can’t help but focus on the fact that we’re a public school. The work our teachers are doing, and the students are engaged in, is at another level.”
Worth about $150,000, the scholarships are among the largest financial awards available to Canadian students pursuing undergraduate degrees. Covering everything from airfare to pocket money, it essentially leaves winners with no expense unpaid while studying in the U.K.
Up to four are presented each year to Canadian students who “have shown academic excellence, intellectual depth, personal integrity and success beyond their studies.”
Jawandha told Peace Arch News that while he believed he’d done well at the interview stage of the process, even imagining a win was “kind of surreal.”
“I just couldn’t tell myself that I would get it,” he said.
Scholarship founder Sam Blyth personally congratulated Jawandha in a phone call Tuesday afternoon.
“He wanted me to enjoy the experience and work hard when I get over there,” the 17-year-old said of the conversation. “I was just thanking him for the opportunity.”
Jawandha said attending Cambridge would not be in his future if not for the scholarship. Accepted to the Pembroke College for Engineering, he plans to pursue a career that will impact struggling communities.
Karine Guezalove, co-ordinator of Semi’s International Baccalaureate program, said Jawandha was one of three Semi students to apply. She described the winning streak as “absolutely unheard of.”
“When they were applying last year, I was thinking no way, no way,” she said, of the idea the school could once again notch a win.
She added the win is not unconditional. Jawandha must meet required IB exam scores in May.