An Abbotsford student has been awarded the largest under-graduate scholarship available at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Lucila Chen, a graduate of Yale Secondary, is now using the $50,000, four-year scholarship to study in the university’s faculty of science, where she plans to major in neuroscience and then enter the U of A’s medical school.
She said the money will ease her parents’ load of paying for her dream of becoming a doctor.
Her father has been unable to work because of constant debilitating pain after surgery, leaving her mom as the sole income provider.
Chen, 18, said being awarded the scholarship means her parents “don’t have to worry” about her. She intends to eventually enter the field of neurology to explore the mysteries of pain management.
Chen graduated from high school as the first of 271 students, with a grade average of 97.5 per cent. She filled her final year at Yale Secondary with seven first-year university-equivalent courses, carrying the heaviest academic load of any student in the school.
She also volunteers in the hospital, visiting patients, and runs a bingo at a nursing home.
Although she had her choice of many areas to study, including music, she settled on science.
“I’ve always liked science. It’s a basic knowledge you should have; how things in our world work.”
Chen’s award, the President’s Centenary Entrance Citation, is presented on the basis of superior academic achievement. Students are nominated by senior administrators at their schools, and then must write a personal essay.