Five Near North District School Board Students Heading To Shad


Near North District School Board (NNDSB) is proud to announce five students will be taking part in Shad, a highly acclaimed summer enrichment program for well-rounded and academically successful secondary school students.

Three students from Chippewa Secondary School – Kaitlyn Bertrand, Jack Mah and Victoria Jones and two students from Almaguin Highlands Secondary School – Alyssa Jolliffe and Megan Lee, will spend four weeks in July learning at a virtual campus to expand their knowledge and skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

“The program offers a wide range of different topics to discover, and I am hoping that Shad will help me become a more well-rounded learner,” noted Bertrand. “This will be a great experience to build upon my leadership skills and give me a chance to work meaningfully as a member of a team.”

Learning through lectures, workshops, projects and activities, students will learn and expand their STEAM knowledge, which introduces participants to a multi-disciplinary approach.

“I am really interested in the sciences, and I know that Shad really explores different aspects of that. I’m also really excited to learn about engineering, art and math because it covers all the STEAM components,” Lee said. “I’m just excited to try some different things that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.”

“I hope to be able to learn new and interesting things while attending Shad as well as grow as a student through the experiences that Shad offers and to make new connections with people who share similar interests to me,” Jones noted. “You should look for ways to pursue your interests, thoughts, or passions, and I am so grateful to this school, school board, teachers, family, and friends for supporting me, and helping me be a part of this opportunity.”

Mah is looking forward to coding.

“While looking at one of the packages Shad sent me leading up to the program, I noticed that I was given a device for coding! Coding is something I’ve always found interesting but never had the chance to investigate, so I’m really excited about this activity. As well, because my Shad program will take place virtually through Western University, I’d love to hear more about the post-secondary institution before I begin applying to universities in the fall.”

To be accepted into the program, students must go through a rigorous application process, which goes in-depth into both the students’ academics and extra-curricular activities.

“The application process is very similar to a university application, and I know how competitive and sometimes challenging that can be,” Lee shared.

Thousands of secondary school students from across Canada apply to Shad each year and roughly 900 are accepted into the program.

“I was first introduced to Shad when I went to the Canada-wide science fair in Grade 8 and ever since then, I’ve been wanting to apply,” Jolliffe said. “I definitely want to learn more about like the business and engineering portion, because I don’t really know a whole lot about that. So, I’m really excited to learn about that.”

Shad’s program attracts students with high aptitudes for risk-taking, curiosity, excellence, and resilience and prepares them to take on social and economic challenges. The program includes a real-world design challenge that asks students to work on issues such as food security, water and waste management.

“As a student, I’m really hoping that Shad will help me find some new interests and also be able to connect with like-minded motivated youth from across the country,” Lee shared. “I’m also hoping that this program might help me to steer me in a direction for what I want to do later as a career after secondary school. I’m looking forward to exploring some different things that might spark a new interest.”

“While the delivery and platform of Shad will be unique this summer, I am thrilled to take part in the program,” said Mah. “Without a doubt, it’ll be a wonderful month, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”

Students say their educational experience at NNDSB has helped them in pursuing their goals.

“NNDSB courses have made me well prepared to be successful in this program and I am very grateful for both the guidance and support of the faculty,” said Bertrand.

“The staff and teachers at my school, have always helped me stay engaged in my academics and they’ve been very helpful in the application process. Everybody has been there to provide guidance and support for me,” said Lee.

“My educational experience at NNDSB has helped me in pursuing my passions through supportive teachers and staff, as well as by providing different opportunities, and supporting me when I ask to pursue a new project or passion of mine in school or in school-related things,” said Jones.

“If it weren’t for the counsellors at Chippewa, I wouldn’t have known very much about this program. As well, it is the chemistry, biology, functions, etc. courses that led me to develop an interest in STEAM. The classes I’ve taken through NNDSB have shown me what I enjoy learning about. By helping me find what topics intrigue me, the school board’s indirectly steered me towards my passions,” Mah exclaimed.


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