Greater Victoria high-school students Ford Smith and Gabrielle Rutman are in special company after being named finalists for a Loran scholarship, valued at $100,000.
Smith, who attends Claremont Secondary, and Rutman, an Esquimalt High School student, are among 84 finalists chosen from more than 4,400 applicants across the country. They were nominated by their schools and interviewed in November.
The Loran Scholars Foundation will announce up to 32 Loran scholars on Feb. 3 and 4. The foundation is a national charity that has partnered with 25 universities — including the University of Victoria — to recognize young people headed for post-secondary education.
Loran refers to Long-Range Aid to Navigation, an acronym for a marine navigation system that is used to emphasize the lifelong impact of receiving a scholarship.
Character, service and leadership are key attributes for scholarship hopefuls.
Smith is a volunteer with Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, a volunteer with the Mount Washington ski patrol and a member of Venturer Scouts. He also plays baseball and referees soccer and spent last summer working for the B.C. Cancer Agency.
Rutman helped organize a town-hall meeting and survey to determine students’ needs and priorities, leads a Rotary youth club, volunteers as an anti-bullying ambassador with the Red Cross and has performed in a number of community-theatre productions.
Finalists not chosen as Loran scholars are eligible for a $3,000 award.