Students at the University of British Columbia receive Canada’s largest STEM scholarship

Lasya Vankayala and Noah Tajwar
Lasya Vankayala and Noah Tajwar

Lasya Vankayala and Noah Tajwar have been named the University of British Columbia’s recipients of the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships, and will receive $140,000 over four years to support their studies.

Created in 2011 by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich, this annual scholarship program encourages promising high school graduates to embrace STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in their future careers. This year, there were over 1,500 Schulich Leader Nominees from across Canada vying for 50 scholarships, valued at up to $80,000 each. Since inception, 220 students have received this celebrated scholarship.

Noah Tajwar, 17, is a recipient of the $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. A graduate of Riverside Secondary School’s French Immersion Program in Port Coquitlam, BC, Tajwar will be entering the Faculty of Applied Science this fall, looking to major in electrical or computer engineering. Tajwar was selected for his outstanding academic achievements as well as his community leadership: he was co-leader of Rapid Change, Riverside’s Humanitarian Club, which raised $10,000 to build a classroom in rural China. Tajwar also used his skills in software and engineering to develop the Riverside app, which gives students easy access to the school calendar and daily announcements.

Lasya Vankayala, 18, is a recipient of the $60,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. A graduate of David Thompson Secondary School in Vancouver, Vankayala will be entering the Faculty of Science in the fall, looking to major in biochemistry. She is an accomplished scientist whose research in wound healing, mitochondrial dynamics, and Parkinson’s Disease earned her a gold medal at the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair and a third place finish in the prestigious Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge BC. Vankayala’s volunteer role with Canucks Autism Network, her accomplishments in Indian Classical Singing, and her participation in the Shad Valley program all contributed to her selection as a Schulich Leader.

“It is very important that we support exceptional students that demonstrate great leadership and embrace STEM fields,” said Schulich. “It is an investment not only in their future, but the future of our country. Their pursuits are sure to lead to key innovations in the years ahead.”


About Schulich Leader Scholarships

Schulich Leader Scholarships are prestigious entrance scholarships awarded to high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate program at participating universities in Canada and Israel. Recognizing the increasing importance and impact that STEM disciplines will have on the prosperity of future generations, businessman and philanthropist Seymour Schulich established this $100 million scholarship fund in 2011 to encourage our best and brightest students to be the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation. This program awards 100 scholarships annually, valued at more than $5.5 million. Schulich Leaders can devote their full time and attention to their studies, as all of their financial needs are covered over the course of their degree. As a result, many of our highest potential students are winning these scholarships and will make great contributions to society.


About UBC

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.