Local student lands scholarship for Pearson United World College

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A grade 11 Matthew Halton High School student was recently informed that she received a full scholarship to attend Pearson United World College’s Vancouver Island campus for two full years.

Amanjot Sran initiated the application process in the fall of 2019, but has since been confirmed for a $118,000 scholarship that will cover her tuition and residence expenses at Pearson for two years.

Sran intends on beginning her tenure at the school this upcoming fall, and said the institute sparked her interest when she saw that it appealed to her values.

“I started applying immediately, because the motto of the school is about making change. ‘It’s a school that uses a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and sustainability,’” said Sran.

“I was really intrigued by that, because I completely agree on how education can really change people,” she said.

She said she was happy to take the opportunity to experience some of the world at large.

“When I read about how they want to unite people from different cultures and nations, I thought that was incredible. Here in Pincher Creek there’s not as much opportunity—you live and are educated within a certain place,” said Sran.

“I really want to grab those opportunities, and if it came forward to me, I was happy to accept it,” she said.

While she is currently in grade 11, she will be looking at taking an additional year of high school to attend Pearson.

Still, she said it will be worth it.

“All-in-all, what was really important to me was how it could open me up to so many new things. It could be an opportunity that leads to many more opportunities,” said Sran.

“I want to get out there and see what other people have done in the past, and share things that I’ve done as well.”

She learned of the opportunity in late September from Livingstone Range School Division’s off-campus coordinator John Taylor.

The process began with an online application, on which Sran had to write paragraph essays around how she would respond to various situations.

She said the questions mostly invoked her problem-solving sense, and her responses in the application earned her an in-person interview in Calgary.

“They asked some pretty hard questions. Most of them were scenario-based, in regards to problem solving and change making,” said Sran.

“It was around how you could get through something, and what your thought-process would be. About a week later they got back to me and told me that I got a full scholarship,” she said.

Sran had the opportunity to go out-of-country to attend one of Pearson’s other campuses, but she said she chose the B.C. campus to be within a reasonable travelling distance from home.

“During the summers I would like to go home and spend whatever time I’ve had with the people that I’ve known before,” said Sran.

“I’d love to… just help (the community) while I’m here in the summers,” she said.

She said the news of the scholarship came as a surprise to her and her family.

“We were all kind of shocked. It was really unexpected,” said Sran.

“When I got the e-mail we all kind of went ‘wow, this is actually real. It’s not a joke anymore,’” she said.

She said it will take some adjusting for herself and her family.

“Moving away when you’re my age is a big deal sometimes, and my family and I are pretty close,” said Sran.

“It’s just a matter of trust, and seeing how it’s going to work out in the long run. We truly think this will benefit me in the long run,” she said.

“We came down to the decision where this could be a pivotal point in my life,” she said.