College Convo: How Suddene secured the bag with a full scholarship!

FABRIZIO DARBY

Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Suddene Stone is former Head Boy of St. Jago High School and Key Club Lieutenant Governor at Large. His accomplishments don't end there. Recently, Suddene has been awarded the Lester B. Pearson Scholarship to attend the University of Toronto.

This scholarship is a full ride. This means EVERYTHING is covered! Tuition, books, food... he even gets a living stipend. Goals right? Perhaps you are wondering how you may accomplish a similar feat. Have no fear, teenAGE Observer and "the Stone" are here!

Suddene was kind enough to give us a few tips on how to get that bag:

1. Make use of your summers

Try getting a summer job, go to summer school or learn a language. The possibilities are endless. Don't just sit and say yah go gwaan buil. The only "builing" you should do is building your resume. Suddene reminds us also that sports and non-academic activities matter too. Don't be afraid to go to a football camp if that's what you're passionate about. Suddene spent three of his summers gaining valuable leadership, communication, and networking skills at the Emerging Global Leaders' Annual Summer Conference. It molded him so well, that he was promoted to the position of Conference coordinator!

2. Learn valuable skills

Marketability is paramount in this age of competition. It is important that you attend as many workshops, conferences, or training seminars that could equip you with the skills necessary to succeed. Communication, public speaking, networking, project management, and event planning are all valuable skill sets that can make you stand out. Stone recalls the numerous speakers that visited his school that gave valuable advice, critical to his success.

3. Volunteer

To be a world changer, you have to be willing to change. Do what you can to give back to your community. You don't have to feed the homeless in another county, you can simply start a sporting camp, a book club, anything that interests you in your own community or a neighbouring one. Suddene volunteers through his Key Club. Which is good to note, service clubs may be a great way to volunteer while balancing school, since these clubs are run by your very own peers.

4. Start your college search from early on

Nostalgically he recalls his plights, searching for the scholarship opportunities that lie. “It was like finding a needle in a haystack” he reminisced, “especially since there aren't many full scholarships available to international students in Canada. Only a few schools such as York University, St. Thomas University, the University of British Columbia and of course, the University of Toronto offered full rides.” With this, it is imperative for you to begin your scholarship search early. Don't wait until the last minute, because college applications aren't as easy as they seem.

5. Think like an admissions officer

“Try to picture yourself as a product that would be viable for the schools you are applying to,” Suddene opines. Think like an admissions officer, what could they possibly find attractive in a candidate. This doesn't mean that you must try and be the stereotypical 'well-rounded' student. Keep your originality. Like any good product, it is important to stand out, so don't do what everybody else is doing. Stone went on: “Remember it's about quality, not quantity.” What he's saying is, don't just join the million clubs because you think that it'll look good on your application. Join clubs and do activities that you actually like so you can offer good quality service to them or maybe even gain a leadership post.

Finally, we asked Suddene what final advice he'd give you. Here's what he said: “Always be confident when applying for scholarships. Don't ever not apply for a scholarship because you think you aren't good enough for it. If I had that mindset, I wouldn't have applied for the Pearson Scholarship. So ensure you apply for every single one you can because you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.”

-- Fabrizio Darby


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