FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — North Peace Secondary School Grade 12 student Jessica Telizyn can lay claim to being many things including speedskater, cross-country runner, cyclist, co-founder of the local Rotary Interact Club, and now winner of the prestigious Loran Scholarship worth $100,000

NPSS Principal Randy Pauls said Telizyn was nominated to be the school’s entrant in the contest to receive one of 34 scholarships valued at $100,000 from the Loran Scholars Foundation during the first semester of the school year. The scholarship, which has been awarded for the past 28 years, is given out to students based on evidence of character, commitment to service in the community and leadership potential.

Telizyn said that after writing an application that included four essays, she qualified as one of 20 applicants and the only one from Northeast B.C. who travelled to Edmonton in early December for a day of interviews. After that first round, Telizyn made the cut as one of four students that advanced to the scholarship selection finals.

Between December and February, Telizyn had to submit another application for the national selections that took place in Toronto over two days last weekend.

“At semi-finals I wouldn’t say that I was nervous, but I was very aware of how much money was being offered to me, and I didn’t want to kill my shot,” said Telizyn. “I was definitely more anxious and pumped up on adrenaline.”

However, she said that she felt more comfortable during the finals in Toronto leading up to her being announced as one of the 34 winners from across Canada. Pauls explained that with the win, Telizyn is the only student from North Peace to have advanced to the semi-finals, let alone the national finals.

After two straight days of interviews, meetings, and workshops Telizyn was awarded the prestigious $100,000 scholarship that she’ll be able to put towards her undergraduate studies at one of 25 universities in Canada. But, Telizyn explained that her work isn’t over, as she’ll have to do three summer internships focusing on the areas of community development, enterprise, and public policy.

On top of that, she’ll be asked to help with next year’s Loran Scholarship finals in Toronto. Despite the big list of requirements, Telizyn said she’s more than up to the challenge.

Telizyn said she plans to study at Dalhousie University in Halifax where she’ll be looking to get a double major in neuroscience and business. The Grade 12 student says she aspires to be a surgeon or a serial entrepreneur once her studies are complete.