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2-09-2008 by Judy Kim

Shad Valley: A Life-Changing Experience

Are you seeking for something worthwhile to do over the summer? Are you up for a challenge and an adventure? If so, you are a perfect candidate for Shad Valley. The program offers Canada’s top students completing grade 10, 11 and 12 an experience of a lifetime. Participants are given the opportunity to spend four intense and exciting weeks in residence at a host university campus (ie. UBC, University of Waterloo, Queen’s University…etc.). Shad Valley is all about teamwork and interaction with its focus on four main fields: science, technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership. However, students are able to encounter everything from mental to physical challenges.

Unfortunately, there is one crucial task to complete to be eligible for Shad Valley: It is the application process:

1) Student application form

2) Personal accomplishments profile (a succinct description of your experiences, interests and accomplishments)

3) Essay (one well-written page to demonstrate your passion and your writing skills)

4) Creative page (one page to demonstrate your creativity)

5) Why Shad Valley? (a write-up explaining why you wish to participate in Shad Valley)

6) Letter of reference
Many will find the process a massive burden but it’s your application package that determines whether you are a qualified student for the program.

With all program activities, accommodations, and meals covered, the program fee equals to be $2,500. However, Shad provides financial support (bursaries and scholarships) to assist students in financial need. Scholarships are awarded to the top students, based on the strength of their application. Not only that, Shad provides resources for participants to compete for a paid summer internship.

I spent my summer of 2008 at the University of Calgary campus which I found it an absolute blast! At first, I applied for Shad with an expectation of expanding my knowledge only in the fields of science, technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership. However, from my experience at Shad Calgary, I gained a lot more than just academic prowess. I became much more globally and socially aware and grew as a person. In addition to that, I came to realize that Shad is not all about intense studying. During the weekends, I was able to see jaw-dropping views while hiking, along with the chance to check out the Calgary Stampede. I now look back and say without hesitation that it was the best summer that I’ve ever had.

During the adventure at Shad, you will meet the most fantastic people across Canada. In such a short period, relationships will develop drastically and the friends you make will become those who you will never forget. Without doubt I can assure that at the end of this amazing experience, you will proudly call Shad Valley your “new home”.

For more information visit The Shad Valley Website

JUDY KIM was originally born in Korea, immigrating to Canada at the age of 8. She is currently enrolled in grade 11 and attends Fraser Heights Secondary School in Surrey. Judy worked as a virtual intern for Impact during the summer, and is also a Shad Valley Calgary 2008 alumna.

Image courtesy of photographer "sbwoodside" at flickr.com.