Sudbury student recipient of prestigious $25K STEAM scholarship
SUDBURY -- It's a prestigious honour that can leave some of its recipients a little overwhelmed.
On Tuesday, Katiya Gareau-Jones, a Grade 12 student with Ecole Secondaire Sacre-Coeur, was announced as one of five national winners of the 2020 Ingenium-NSERC Steam Horizon Awards.
The award, which comes with a $25,000 scholarship, was handed out Tuesday morning in a virtual ceremony.
"It's really amazing to (win) this award because it's so big and it's all across Canada," Gareau-Jones said. "So I was really excited because it's really going to encourage me to go into STEAM fields."
The award aims to foster Canadian innovation in STEAM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.
Winners can use the $25,000 scholarship to attend any post-secondary school of their choice.
"There are less women in STEAM fields," Gareau-Jones said. "I just think (it's important) not to be too intimidated by that, and to not be too discouraged … because we do have a lot of potential, too. It's a great opportunity."
It was a lengthy application process, one that she took upon herself, it included a personal video and a reference letter from her principal at Sacre-Coeur, Suzanne Lapointe.
"Katiya's worked hard since her arrival at Sacre-Coeur in Grade 9," Lapointe said. "She's always been the kind of student that pushes forward. She knows what she wants, she's very creative, but she's that quiet soul who gets things done.
"We couldn't be happier for her -- she deserves this honour."
The high-schooler has already accomplished a lot at a young age, including owning her own business and she's a published author.
"I've always been creative and I've always loved playing with Legos and just doing … creative stuff and creating stuff," said Gareau-Jones.
She's hoping to combine that creativity with her passion for engineering into a fruitful career. She has already accepted an offer to study at Cambrian College in the fall.
Her principal was invited to watch the ceremony online.
"After the presentation today, I was getting emails from teachers and board members," Lapointe said. "Everybody is so excited because we've seen her blossom from a shy Grade 9er into a powerhouse of a young teenager -- a young woman who has goals and ambitions.
"The fact that we were able to contribute to that is an honour for us."