A Seaquam Secondary student is among 88 young Canadians shortlisted for the Loran Award, whose top prize is a four-year $100,000 scholarship to be used for university or college tuition and expenses.
Grade 12 student Abnash Bassi spearheads two environmental clubs at Seaquam that come up with ways for the school to be more “green” in its operations, as well as teach the wider community to be more environmentally cognizant. Bassi said she is very passionate about environmental stewardship and would use the scholarship money to study engineering and what it can do for the environment.
“Particularly for me, I am open to using my first year of undergraduate studies to really explore how to use engineering to explore my different passions and all these different facets,” Bassi said.
She has been part of Seaquam’s environmental club for the past four years and also coaches basketball for kindergarten and Grade 1 students who are just learning to play the game. In 2017, she started an initiative at over a dozen Delta elementary schools that teaches kids about climate change and ways to be more environmentally friendly in everyday life.
Bassi is also on Delta MP Carla Qualtrough’s youth council, which focuses on issues such as foreign policy, the environment and housing, and comes up with recommendations for actions or solutions.
”The things that I have been personally involved in and passionate about have been the things that I have been able to pursue for the past couple of years,” she explained.
“And I feel carrying that personal narrative and what’s important to me, I feel that’s what makes someone stand out when it comes something like a scholarship.”
In his recommendation letter to the Loran Scholars Foundation, Seaquam teacher Michael Iachetta lauded Bassi as “one of the most mature, thoughtful, creative and authentic students” he has worked with. He is also the sponsor of Bassi’s Environment Club at Seaquam which undertakes fundraising and awareness campaigns for students, staff, the Delta school district and trustees.
The Loran scholarship will be awarded to 34 students Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 in Toronto. The rest of the finalists will receive $5,000.