Two local students, both friends, selected for national program

Kendra Prasad and Emma Brain, grade 11 students at St. Patrick's, will spend July at different universities across Canada

Kendra Patel, left, and Emma Brain, both friends and students at St. Patrick's High School in Sarnia, are taking part in the month-long SHAD experience in July.

Two students, friends who are both attending St. Patrick’s Catholic High School, are heading in opposite directions for the month of July, having been selected to participate in this year’s SHAD program, a Waterloo-based organization that offers a life-changing enrichment program for high school students.

Kendra Prasad, 16, and Emma Brain, 17, were the sole two students in Sarnia chosen for the program this year.

Both Kendra and Emma plan to pursue a career in medicine, with Kendra looking at forensic pathology and Emma having a goal to be an anesthesiologist.

Emma says she first found out about the SHAD program through a poster at school.

Her friend Kendra had gone to last year’s Canada Wide Science Fair and heard about the program there.

Both hope to network through their experience with SHAD, although they won’t be doing it together. Kendra is travelling to the University of Calgary for her month-long experience; Emma will be going to Ryerson University in Toronto.

The SHAD experience focuses on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math, with students interacting with renowned university faculty and visionary corporate leaders. They will participate in hands-on workshops and activities with a unique element being a challenge to come up with an original solution to a societal problem affecting Canada that they learn about in the first week.

That challenge teaches them about entrepreneurship and innovation and leaves the students seeing how they can make an immediate impact.

Tim Jackson is CEO and president of SHAD, which was founded in 1980 and named after a creek in Aurora, Ont., where the program began.

“We are thrilled that we are reaching a record 1,000 students this year,” said Jackson. “Support from our partners has allowed us to include more opportunities to transform lives. We hope program participants end the month not only dreaming big, but empowered with the tools and passion they need to take risks, roll up their sleeves and get going.”

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