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Alberton high school student being considered for $100,000 Loran Award

Olivia Batten, a Grade 12 student from Westisle Composite High School, has been invited to Toronto on Feb. 1 for panel interviews and networking for the Loran Scholars Foundation $100,000 award. Up to 34 such awards will be presented to graduating high school students from across Canada.
Olivia Batten, a Grade 12 student from Westisle Composite High School, has been invited to Toronto on Feb. 1 for panel interviews and networking for the Loran Scholars Foundation $100,000 award. Up to 34 such awards will be presented to graduating high school students from across Canada. - Contributed

ALBERTON, P.E.I. - A student from Westisle Composite High School is in the running for a prestigious $100,000 award from the Loran Scholars Foundation.

Olivia Batten, the 18-year-old daughter of Perry and Christine Batten of Alberton, is one of 88 graduating high school students from across Canada who have been invited to Toronto on Feb. 1 and 2 for networking and a final round of interviews, after which up to 34 Loran Scholars will be selected for the $100,000 awards.

Batten has already participated in two one-on-one Skype interviews.

“I’m really excited because I think it is an opportunity to really network and be a part of this Loran community,” she said. “Their scholars are doing amazing things across Canada. They’re entrepreneurs, they’re business leaders. They’re public servants, they’re doing all kinds of great things.”

Batten said she’s treating the two-day event as an opportunity, not a competition.

“The fact that I’ve been picked to go and to meet these people and have chats with them and potentially become a Loran scholar myself, is just really awesome and I can’t wait for that opportunity.”

The Loran Scholars Foundation selects students who demonstrate integrity, inner drive, entrepreneurial spirt, teamwork, intellectual curiosity, compassion and kindness, courage and grit.

“Anything that she gets involved with, she puts her heart and soul into it.”
-Westisle principal Heidi Morgan

“We believe Canada needs unconventional leaders in every community and sector, so we fund Loran Scholars to study in Canada and provide them with a breadth of opportunities to enrich their studies,” reads the foundation’s website.

The award includes a tuition waiver from one of 25 partner universities, a $10,000 annual stipend, personal mentorship from a Canadian leader and opportunities for summer internships.

Batten was one of 5,089 students from across Canada who applied to the foundation.

Westisle principal Heidi Morgan said students from her school have advanced to the interview phase before, but Batten is the first student from the West Prince school to be invited to the final step in the selection process.

“It’s a significant award,” Morgan said. “(Olivia) did the research, she looked into it and prepared herself for that.”

In addition to the community involvement, volunteer and leadership roles, there is an academic component to the process.

Morgan described Batten as a “highly motivated and driven student. Mature, but beyond her years.

“Anything that she gets involved with, she puts her heart and soul into it.”

Batten is active as a peer helper at her high school. She is also on her school’s students’ council and yearbook committee. She has volunteered with the DiverseCity Multicultural Festival and she volunteers with the College of Piping in Summerside where she is a drum student.

The Loran scholarship committee focuses on three specific attributes: character, service and leadership.

Batten, who has plans to do an honours degree in political science at Queens University in Kingston, Ont. starting in the fall, says she’s interested in sustainability, the laws and policies surrounding the protection of the environment and policy dealing with clean energy and climate change.

RELATED: Kensington student in the running for prestigious Loran scholarship

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