SHAD summer program gets underway at McMaster for 56 of Canada’s future leaders

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56 high-achieving high-school students from across Canada arrived at SHAD McMaster on July 3 for an intense one-month program focused on empowering exceptional youth to make the world a better place.


Eileen Kim and Sanaya Rau are two high schools students out of 56 from across Canada who arrived at SHAD McMaster on July 3 to begin an exciting summer adventure.

Kim’s biggest obstacle was coming to Canada in Grade 7 and not speaking the language or understanding the culture. Ever since she has shown a drive and determination to succeed and has excelled in many ways. Now a grade 11 student from Ottawa, she is one of  701 top high school students from across Canada participating in SHAD at 12 university campuses from coast to coast.

SHAD is a competitive and prestigious national program which has served as an incubator for Canada’s future leaders by unleashing their innovative and entrepreneurial potential while still in high school.

“It is such a privilege to join the SHAD network and to be able to interact with the brightest youth of Canada who share my passion for learning,” Kim says.

Founded in 1980, SHAD immerses students in grades 10 to 12 in an intense one-month program in July focused on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The students interact directly with renowned university faculty and visionary corporate leaders who challenge them to look at some of society’s biggest problems and to start thinking about how to tackle them.

When the program ends on July 29, the Fellows become part of an important network of 15,000 SHAD alumni including 30 Rhodes Scholars and leaders in many fields.

Eileen Kim says people don’t believe her today when she tells them she wasn’t born in Canada. She is hoping to return to McMaster after SHAD this summer for her post-secondary education where she hopes to study to become a doctor.

Another student attending SHAD McMaster is Sanaya Rau, a grade 11 student from Burnaby, BC who also wants to study medicine. She hopes to play a role “in making patient care more humane, by focusing on global health initiatives that ensure people’s basic rights are respected.”

“SHAD encourages students to think outside the box and to put their education to use by coming up with creative solutions to pressing local and global problems.”

With Canada now focused more and more on youth innovation and entrepreneurship to help fuel the new economy and solve some of the many global issues, SHAD is where it all begins.

“I think SHAD is one of Canada’s best kept secrets,” says Michele Romanow, a SHAD Fellow in 2003 who now stars on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and is a Director on SHAD’s Board. “I don’t believe I would be an entrepreneur (today) if I didn’t go to SHAD.”

“It is an honour to be heading up an organization that is doing such important work for Canada,” says Tim Jackson, SHAD’s recently-appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.

“By exposing high achieving high school students to great ideas from leading faculty and some of the world’s biggest challenges, students like Sanaya are inspired by the SHAD network to start making an impact now,” Jackson adds.

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