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A Johnston Heights Secondary student has won a prestigious scholarship worth up to $100,000 over four years.
Anthony Hope was one of just 30 students named Loran Scholars from 3,800 applicants across Canada. His success matches that of Shakti Ramkumar, the Kwantlen Park student who was named a Loran Scholar last year.
“I was proud of myself and it was a huge honour, but a shock for me as well,” says Anthony. “Everyone at the interviews and at all stages – they were amazing people that have achieved a lot. Being part of that company is really overwhelming.”
Anthony graduated a semester early from Johnston Heights and is now finalizing his choice of university and program. He is looking at studying either International Relations or International Development Studies as a prelude to his longer term ambition to do fieldwork for a non-governmental organization in South America.
He will take with him campaigning experience gained while a student in Surrey Schools. Spurred into action by a friend in New York taking their own life for being gay, Anthony surveyed hundreds of his fellow students and created a list of recommendations which ultimately lead to the Surrey Board of Education adopting a new anti-homophobia policy.
Anthony has also been involved in a mural project called Surrey Appreciates Me and co-founded a weekly school breakfast program with a friend after applying for a grant from the Vancouver Sun.
He credits part of his success in achieving the scholarship to the supporting and nurturing environment he experienced in the district. “I wouldn’t have got the scholarship nor had the experience without that network and that community,” he says.
The independent young man also credits the support of family and friends, and says overcoming adversity helped build his character.
Johnston Heights principal Sheila Hammond isn’t surprised by Anthony’s success, saying his student survey and his report that came from it were pretty remarkable given he was only 14 at the time.
“He got my thinking going as a Grade 9 student and he has grown over the years,” she adds.
Hammond says his success also reflects the way the school looks at the larger, global community in a variety of ways, including through the leadership program Anthony was involved in.
The Loran Scholars Foundation says it selects scholars on their character, commitment to service and leadership potential through a rigorous and personalized three-month selection process that includes interviews at the regional and national level.
Another Surrey Schools student, Joyce Yang from Fleetwood Park Secondary, participated in Vancouver regional interviews and received an honour citation.