An Olds High School student will fly to Toronto in February to interview for her chance to receive a scholarship valued at $100,000.
Nicole Green is one of 88 finalists out of more than 5,000 candidates for the Loran Award, which recognizes young people on the basis of service, character and leadership potential.
Of those 88, 34 will be selected as Loran scholars and receive four years' worth of tuition waived at one of the program's partner universities, mentorship, funding for summer internships and annual retreats, plus a $10,000 annual stipend. There will also be a weeklong orientation expedition.
In the end, if she's not selected as a Loran scholar, Green will still be eligible to receive a $5,000 finalist award, according to Joana Nyambura, manager of marketing and communications for the scholarship.
Green is the first student in the history of the school to be selected as a Loran finalist and one of only nine finalists from across Alberta. She was nominated by OHS officials.
"I'm excited and nervous at the same time, I think," said Green. The 17-year-old will head east on Feb. 1 for the interview, having been selected after regional interviews in the fall.
"I was surprised both times for sure," she said of being selected to interview in the regional round and then the national one. "It came as a shock. I'm pretty honoured to even be considered."
It may have been a shock to Green, but it isn't much of a surprise to the staff at Olds High School.
"We are absolutely not surprised," said principal Tom Christensen.
"It's very rare for a student," he said.
Christensen said Green seems to find a way to contribute in almost every way to the school, whether it's in the gym or in leadership class.
"I think she's a pretty sharp candidate," he said, noting as well as her leadership contributions that Green is an excellent student. She's a potential valedictorian, he said, and has won gold in the past at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.
Green said she's been to the science fair national competition five times, including her gold medal finish in Grade 10 for her study on how stereotypes can impact women's results in tests relating to science and math.
Christensen said she's "such a kind-hearted person." An example? Earlier this year the volleyball team was short a player for a tournament. Green -- a good volleyball player but not on the team -- drove out to play so the team could still participate, he said.
She said she volunteers through her leadership class, but also individually.
Green came across the Loran scholarship when she and her dad were doing scholarship research.
She's hoping to go to the University of British Columbia or the University of Victoria and plans to major in psychology for her undergraduate degree, with plans to attend law school and become a human rights lawyer.
The national selection process will be similar to the regional one, she's been told, just "more of everything" as it's spread over two days.
The regional process in Calgary included two one-on-one interviews: one with a judge and another applicant and then finally a panel interview on her own in front of several judges.
Green is not worrying too much about her competition in Toronto, instead focusing on her own application and merits.
"I'm just hoping to be myself," she said.
"It came as a shock. I'm pretty honoured to even be considered."
OHS STUDENT, LOREN SCHOLARSHIP FINALIST