Sudbury teen receives national scholarship after making waves in the scientific community
Published Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:35AM EDT Last Updated Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:46AM EDT
SUDBURY -- Nethra Wickramasinghe is a 17-year-old student at Lockerby Composite School in Sudbury with a passion for learning.
"As a little kid since Grade 1 she was a very hard worker, kind hearted person. She enjoyed her schools, especially her high school," says Dinusha Dassanayake, Nethra’s mother.
CTV News caught up with Wickramasinghein June 2020 when she was showing off a device that alerts users to physiological changes associated with depressive and anxiety disorders.
Now, she’s preparing to go off to McMaster University after receiving some financial support through a prestigious scholarship.
"I was nominated through my school by my guidance councillor for the Schulich Leader Scholarship," says Wickramasinghe.
"It’s given to 100 students across Canada and my scholarship is worth 80 thousand dollars which takes a huge financial burden off of me."
Graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) program at 20 partner universities across Canada can receive the scholarships.
Half are valued at $100,000 for engineering scholarships and half are valued at $80,000 for science and math scholarships. Every high school in Canada can nominate one graduating student each year to apply for the money.
"As parents we are so proud of her. This is an unbelievable achievement," says Dassanayake.
Wickramasinghebelieves this will be enough money to completely cover her education and living expenses while she studies math at the university.
"I’m hoping to take a lot of other courses hopefully in things like computer science and perhaps biology and a lot of other science topics so I can get that breathe of knowledge to move forward," says Wickramasinghe.
"It’s a huge relief for us as working parents you know it really is for us and I’m so happy for her and I’m sure she will give back to the community and her country doing this. And it’s going to make all of us such a proud Sudbury," says Dassanayake.
Wickramasinghe says she dreams of entering the research field and even perhaps starting her own technology based company some day.
In the meantime, she continues to work on her device and is finishing high school before moving to Hamilton in the fall for in person learning.
If not, Wickramasinghe is prepared to complete her first year of education virtually.