Sebastian Muermann, 17, went through an intensive application process to become one of 30 recipients of the award – presented by the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation – across Canada.
The award includes four years of funding for undergraduate studies and a comprehensive enrichment program. Recipients are selected based on three criteria – character, service and leadership potential.
Muermann first heard about the program through a school counsellor, and he applied in writing last September. This step also required writing four essays on topics such as his community involvement and how he has shown leadership.
He was selected for the next step in the process — a regional interview, which was held at the University of B.C. in December.
From there, Muermann was chosen as one of 76 finalists across Canada, all of whom were invited to Toronto for the national selection process.
He found out by phone on Feb. 3 that he had been selected as a Loran scholar.
“I jumped up and down, and I yelled to my parents that I made it. It was really surreal … It’s probably the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Muermann, a Grade 12 student, is Mouat’s student body president, head of the leadership class and a key member of the Mouat Character Council.
At 6′ 11”, he also plays centre on the Mouat Hawks senior boys basketball team.
In the community, he is a member of the Abbotsford Youth Commission and Abbotsford Youth Council, and sits on the parks, recreation and culture commission.
He also volunteers on weekends at Menno Home seniors’ facility, where his fluency in English, French and German come in handy.
“I just love being involved. I really see the benefit of volunteering for teens because it can lead to so many opportunities in life,” Muermann said.
Vijay Manuel, vice-principal at Mouat, said Muermann makes a difference in the school and in the community.
“Seb is a kind-hearted and caring person. He is also hard-working and a strong leader … I’m thrilled for Seb because he truly deserves the recognition.”
Muermann is not yet sure which university he will attend, but he plans to study international business or political science with an eye toward a career in international development – perhaps working for the UN or the Canadian government.