(Editors note: Shad2020 has since been cancelled since this story way published.)
A Lacombe Composite High School student will take part in 27-day entrepreneur program, Shad Canada, which is STEAM and entrepreneurship program for students in grade 10 and 11.
Bri Pelechytik, 17, applied to be part of the program after being told about it by a friend and teacher from LCHS.
“Shad is four-week long enrichment program based on science and leadership. It takes place at one of 19 Canada’s leading universities. I could be anywhere in the country,”Pelechytik said.
The program, which usually takes place in the month of July, but could be different this year due to COVID-19, attracts students with high aptitudes for risk taking, curiosity, excellence and resilience, and prepares them to take on social and economic challenges. The month-long program includes a real-world design challenge that asks students to work on issues such as food security, water management and waste, according to shad.ca.
Pelechytik, who is the LCHS chapter leader for SADD – students against destructive decisions, said she was interested in STEAM and leadership since a young age.
“I have always had an interest in leadership, but once I got into high school I had more opportunities to be involved in that. In terms of science, it was around Grade 8 when I realized I enjoyed it — especially biology,” she said.
Pelechytik, who volunteers at a soup kitchen and was on the LCHS Principals list for achieving an average of 90 per cent or above, said she is looking forward to building relationships at Shad 2020.
“I have heard a lot about it and I hear you make some close, lifelong relationships,” she said. “You do a lot of hands-on labs and lectures, along with team-building, leadership activities in STEAM, which is science, technology, engineering, arts and math.”
Pelechytik said she believes the program will set her up for success in university.
“I think it is going to really help me in terms of confidence and leadership. I am really excited for the relationships and I think it would be really great for my future,” she said.
Pelechytik said it is currently unclear on how restrictions from COVID-19 will affect the program this year.
“They are saying they are keeping tabs on it. We are hoping we will still be able to do it but we aren’t quite sure yet,” she said.
Shad Canada sent Pelechytik a release stating: “We wanted to provide an update to Shad2020 participants on our program in light of the COVID-19 virus.
“With the Shad202 program several months away, it is unclear how the program will be affected, if at all, We are however monitoring the situation and we are trusting Health Canada’s assessment of the level of risk, which remains low for Canada
“Please know that the safety an good health of the students and program team members attending the program is our top priority.”