By Debra Downey
A Grade 12 Westdale Secondary School student has earned one of the most valuable awards available in Canada for teens wishing to pursue an undergraduate degree.
Sarah Flaherty, 17, is one of three students from across the country to win a Blyth Scholarship to Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The approximate value is $150,000.
“I am extremely excited by this opportunity, not only to study at a leading academic institution, but to live in and experience another country,” said Sarah.
Tenable at any University of Cambridge undergraduate college, the Blyth Scholarship provides full funding for tuition fees, maintenance and travel between Canada and Cambridge for three years.
Sarah plans to study natural sciences at Pembroke College with an emphasis on biological sciences.
She said as a Blyth Scholar she will gain a strong grounding in the natural sciences that will likely prepare her for multiple careers.
“I am interested in many fields of science and applied science, and can envision myself taking several paths,” Sarah said. “I am very interested in medicine as a career where I could use science to directly work with and help others.”
Sam Blyth, chair of the Blyth Scholars, said he is delighted to have supported Canadians at Cambridge for more than 10 years.
“I had the advantage of a Cambridge education as a young Canadian,” he said. “These awards are an expression of gratitude, as well as a gift to Canadian scholars who should excel at the university.”
Sarah said she has been interested in studying overseas for a long time, so when she started researching her university choices, Cambridge was one of the options.
“....it seemed worth a shot. I hadn't yet heard from the college itself, so it was a big surprise to even learn that I had been admitted, let alone received the scholarship.”
Sarah will be joined at Cambridge by her twin brother, Michael. He, too, has been accepted at Cambridge and will be taking anglo-saxon, norse and celtic studies
The University of Cambridge, originally founded in 1209, is one of the leading academic institutions in the world. Pembroke College, where Sarah plans to study, is the third oldest of the 31 Cambridge-associated colleges.
The two other Canadian students who earned Blyth Cambridge Commonwealth Trust 2014 scholarships are from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Surrey, B.C.