THUNDER BAY – A student from Thunder Bay’s St. Ignatius high school has scored a prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship, which comes with up to $100,000 in support for recipients' post-secondary studies.
Lucas Crupi, who graduated from St. Ignatius this year, said the news was overwhelming.
“When I first read that I won the scholarship, I was shocked by the excitement and disbelief – I had to read it over a few times to make sure that I really had won it,” he said. “I immediately stopped eating my lunch and first told my Nonna, followed by my parents. It was pretty tough to fall asleep that night.”
The scholarship will offer not just financial support but access to academic and mentorship opportunities when Crupi begins his studies in applied science and engineering at the University of Toronto in the fall.
The entrance scholarships are awarded to high school graduates enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at 20 partner universities in Canada.
High schools can submit one nominee per year, based on financial need, academic excellence, and entrepreneurial leadership.
That’s something Crupi has displayed in spades, said teacher Frank Carpino, who selected the student.
“He has recruited both staff and students to embark on their own passion for robotics,” he said. “He is a shining example of academic excellence, personal initiative, and creative innovation, motivating his fellow students to continue to employ a sustained work ethic and to have the courage to capitalize on opportunities available to them.”
Crupi is the third St. Ignatius student to win a Schulich Leader Scholarship in the past three years.
The achievement was all the more impressive coming during a pandemic that required constant adjustment from students, said Carpino.
The organization behind the award recognized those disruptions by doubling the number of recipients to 100 both this year and in 2020.
“This group of 100 outstanding students will represent the best and brightest Canada has to offer and will make great contributions to society, both on a national and global scale,” said philanthropist Seymour Schulich, who established a $100 million fund to support the scholarships in 2012.
“With their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures.”
Crupi welcomed the opportunity, saying the financial assistance would help him pursue his academic career and related interests.
“The Schulich Scholarship changes things for me and helps me reach my goals as I can focus on my education and entrepreneurial goals while at the University of Toronto instead of worrying about funding my education.”