Andrea Stachow speaks with enthusiasm, strong confidence, and engagement with whatever she has to say.
This “I can do it” attitude has been acknowledged with a prestigious award that means she can now pursue education and a career in her chosen field of science and engineering.
Stachow is one of 170 students across Canada recently awarded the Horatio Alger $5,000 scholarship “given to students who demonstrate a desire and ability to be entrepreneurial in a chosen field”, and to those “who have overcome significant adversity while demonstrating strength of character, strong academics, a commitment to pursuing higher education , as well as a desire to contribute to society.”
Stachow said she learned from her parents the importance of independence and taking initiative – not waiting for something to happen for her, or for someone to tell her to go ahead.
“They (and her three sisters) have always been super supportive my whole life,” she said.
Her experience in the Ladysmith Ambassadors Program has helped her build the confidence that she can make a difference in any community, speak in front of large groups, meet new people, and even leave her home and community to attend university.
Last summer, Andrea was chosen as one of “950 of Canada’s best and brightest” students to attend the month-long SHAD program at the University of New Brunswick. SHAD’s mission through their “experiential learning program in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics”, is “to empower exceptional youth to make the world a better place.”
Andrea learned more about interacting with others to create exciting projects, and said her experience made her believe that her engineering dream is possible.
The Grade 12 Ladysmith Secondary School student is having a busy graduation year serving as vice-president of Students’ Council, working on yearbook, initiating and carrying out community service projects as an active member of the LSS Interact Club, and mentoring and conducting a youth choir she has sang in for 11 years.
Stachow has received acceptance letters from UBC, Queens, and Dalhousie universities.