For the third year in a row, Memorial University is home to a Loran scholar this fall.
After a rigorous screening process, bachelor of science student Sarah Janes is one of 36 award recipients selected from more than 5,100 applicants and 90 finalists.
The Loran Award, administered by the Loran Scholars Foundation, is Canada’s largest and most comprehensive one-of-a-kind undergraduate merit-based award, valued at $100,000 over four years.
Through the scholarship, the foundation partners with universities, donors, and volunteers from all over the country to seek out and nurture promising young people who reflect its qualities and values: integrity, compassion, determination, and a high level of personal autonomy, to name a few.
‘You’re going places’
Ms. Janes is originally from Port-au-Port East, N.L.
An avid volunteer, she is a long-time member of the Girl Guides of Canada, completed the bronze and silver levels of the Duke of Edinburgh program, played flute in her school’s concert band, volunteered at her local thrift store and is a tutor. She also holds a black belt in taekwondo.
“Having others believe in me enough for something like this is an incredible feeling.”
Despite her many affiliations and achievements, she says there has always been a voice in her head telling her she wasn’t enough.
That all changed when she received the news about her award.
“It changed my life. The fact that other people can see the value of who I am and what I have done to become this person, to be chosen as a Loran scholar, feels like someone looking at me and saying, ‘you’re going places,’ and having others believe in me enough for something like this is an incredible feeling.”
‘They don’t have to worry’
Ms. Janes grew up in a modest household to parents who set an example when it came to hard work.
As such, university tuition was a worry during her high school years. She often wondered about her next steps and funding options to further her education.
The financial stability provided by the scholarship means she can focus on her studies without being burdened by student loans and working enough to cover the bills.
For the first time, Ms. Janes believes she has a chance to create a stable and sustainable life, not only for herself, but for her family, too.
“My parents, my grandparents and my family gave me everything they could, everything I needed to be the person I am today. I want to be able to tell them they don’t have to worry anymore.”
Breaking out of comfort zones
Apart from the monetary value of the award, there are also leadership, mentorship, summer employment and many other opportunities designed to promote the Loran scholars’ holistic well-being.
Ms. Janes couldn’t be more excited to immerse herself in the whole experience.
But the magic truly started this past summer when she got on a plane for the first time to attend a networking mixer hosted by the foundation.
She recalls her first time in a big city fondly, riding the subway and being exposed to life outside of rural Newfoundland.
She is particularly excited to learn from and exchange ideas with many like-minded peers and mentors who share her passion for education and the proper treatment of and accommodations for those with learning disabilities.
As she looks towards the future and talks about broadening her horizons, Ms. Janes says she hopes to be “someone who can help others, someone who is confident in her leadership abilities and isn’t afraid of new challenges.”
The three other Loran Scholars at Memorial are Lydia Hardy (2020), Malorie Osmond (2021) and Madison Malloy (2021).