‘It feels surreal’: Armstrong grad wins $80K UBC scholarship

Aidan Eglin is a recipient of the prestigious Schulich Leader Award

Aidan Eglin, a grade 12 student at Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Secondary, is the recipient of a 2020 Schulich Leader Award to the University of British Columbia worth $80,000. (School District 83 photo)

An Armstrong grad student finds himself with new post-secondary plans after receiving a full-ride scholarship to the University of British Columbia.

Aidan Eglin, a grade 12 student at Pleasant Valley Secondary (PVSS), is the recipient of a Schulich Leader Award to UBC worth $80,000.

“I must admit receiving the scholarship was a total surprise. It feels surreal. I can not believe I’ve been given this opportunity. It has actually changed my plans quite a lot,” said Eglin, who found out he was a recipient on Monday, May 11.

Eglin, who was nominated for the award by PVSS staff, says he was originally planning on attending McGill University to earn a Bachelors of Engineering with a major in computer engineering. “I had received a $5000/year scholarship to that program, and that alone had me ecstatic.”

After securing the Schulich Leader Award, he now plans to a Bachelors of Science with a combined major in computer science and astronomy with a minor in linguistics. “It’s been such a gift to be able to graduate from one of the best universities in the country, completely free of debt,” he said.

READ MORE: Enderby grad wins national award for leadership in music

Eglin said he is excited to attend UBC and has pent the last few days setting his timetable and reading up on his future courses.

Eglin is still keen on McGill, and says he would like to do a masters degree in computer science at the Montreal university once his time at UBC is finished.

While his skillset lies in computer programming Eglin says his passion is in linguistics, and he’s happy to be able to combine the two in his undergraduate studies.

“I’ve come to realize that I will be far more happy with the science degree studying what I enjoy, rather than an engineering degree studying what I think would help me make a good living,” he said.

During quarantine, Eglin has kept himself busy developing a few apps and websites, just to sharpen his programming skills.

In 2018 Aidan developed a scheduling app for his classmates at PVSS, which allowed students to easily track their classes for each day, what time they start and what assignments are due. The app also allows students and teachers to submit notes and assigned homework tasks to be viewed by everyone in the class.

“We are so incredibly proud of Aidan and this accomplishment. Each school has the opportunity to nominate one student to be a Schulich Leader, and Aidan was a natural fit,” said principal Chelsea Prince.

“Over and over, we, as a staff, have been taken aback by what Aidan is capable of and we are excited to see where he goes in life. Congratulations Aidan!”

Businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established the more than $100 million scholarship fund in 2012 to encourage top students to become Schulich Leader scholars, touted as the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded technology innovators.

READ MORE: Five generations of females celebrate family in Salmon Arm


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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