Prestigious SHAD Program Closes at Laurier
On Jul. 28, the prestigious Shad Canada program wrapped up after being hosted on both Laurier’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses.
For grade 10 and 11 students across Canada, Shad provides university level science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics mentors and entrepreneurship content. “We always say Shad is where the magic happens. We provide an opportunity for [students] to build a community full of young people … and also we provide an opportunity for them to step out of their comfort zone,” said Sunny Wang, Associate Professor at Laurier and Shad Program Director. The program began on Jul. 3, where more than 60 Shad students arrived on Laurier’s campuses for a month of lectures, workshops and engaging exercises.
“… The program is very intensive, it includes many things. It includes a lot of hands-on workshops and many university-level lectures, and also many field trips as well, because the [students] have the opportunity to explore the local area,” Wang explained. Shad Canada is hosted on 22 university campuses across the country. ShadAnywhere allows students to participate in the program virtually rather than staying on a host campus.
“Overall, we have had four Shad programs,” said Wang in regard to Laurier’s time hosting Shad. The 2023 program is the university’s second time holding an in-person Shad. According to Shad Canada, when applying for the program students are “assessed on several factors highlighting their unique talents and contributions.
Factors such as academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, creativity, innovation and commitment to making the world a better place.”
“Each application is evaluated by, on average, three or four evaluators. Everyone has different opinions about each application. And then Shad Canada has a system to scale the marks and how to combine the marks,” Wang described. Wang continued, “I do know that Shad Canada tries to promote diversity and equity. [Shad] tries to have more participants from very diverse backgrounds, for example, from the rural areas that may have never heard of [Shad] before, and including more indigenous people.”
“The process is very competitive. We still have, as I heard this year, 800 people on the waiting list. They couldn’t get into the program,” Wang added. As for Laurier, the university sees many benefits from being a Shad host campus.
“One thing that came from being a partner of Shad Canada, is a recognition of Laurier’s excellence in academics, community building, business, and leadership,” said Wang. “It also helps us recruit high school students. This is an international program, so it benefits the recruitment,” Wang added. Laurier students can also benefit from the Shad program.
“I hope more young people will get involved, especially for Laurier students. We do hire … We have four Laurier students hired as a program manager and program assistants to help the program for July,” said Wang.
Wang continued, “I hope more Laurier students will get involved in this program. You don’t have to be a Shad alumni. You can just have a passion to work with young people, and hope to have an impact on their lives, and you are welcome to work with us. So for next year, the job posting will be out probably in January on the navigator.”
For more information on Shad Canada at Laurier, visit the university’s website.