The future looks bright for Riley Doering. A Grade 12 student at EDSS, Doering will be graduating this year and heading to the University of British Columbia to study engineering physics. But he has to make it through the summer first, having been accepted to the Shad Valley program. Selected from more than 1,000 applicants across Canada, Doering will be attending the four-week summer enrichment program that gives students a chance to spend a month living in a university residence as they learn and work alongside professors, as well as business and industry leaders.
“The program itself is a transformational experience designed to unleash the capabilities of exceptional youth,” said Mary Dever, national director of development at Shad Valley. “We focus on innovation, which means a core of science, engineering, math and technology but it is heavily fused with business so that our participants can see how things move from the mind to the market.”
The program teaches students the skills in engineering and science that can lead to the design and breakthrough innovation that can change the world, she explained.
Doering will be exposed to everything from high level academia to hands-on labs, lectures and workshops, topics that are not regularly feature in the high school curriculum.
“We teach them how to be leaders and create positive change from the immense talent they have,” said Dever.
To be considered for the program, Doering had to go through an intensive application process, writing an essay, receiving a reference from his guidance counsellor and building a creative page.
Creativity is important for Shad Valley because they need to know that the students can get from the left side of their brains over to their right and then back again as that is how they are challenged during the program.
“I had a photograph of myself playing hockey and I made it into a puzzle and all the pieces represented the different parts of my life,” said Doering. “It’s as creative as I could be, and they seemed to like it.”
Shad Valley looks for students who have demonstrated initiative, drive, outstanding creativity, and great inter personal skills.
“We are looking for someone who is a truly outstanding, well rounded achiever, someone who has what we consider all the hallmarks of an emerging change agent leader,” said Dever.” It is a very unique candidate profile that we are looking for and (Doering) is an outstanding young achiever who well earned his place at
Shad Valley in a very competitive field.”
Doering will be heading to Memorial University in Newfoundland to complete the program.
“It lets you branch out a little bit, takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to see another part of the country,” said Doering. “I think it’s going to be awesome. I’ve never been out east, and it’s a great opportunity to go out there for a month.”
Doering is looking forward to the engineering aspect of the program to get a taste of what he should expect at university.
“I don’t have a ton of engineering experience so I am hoping to get a kind of sense of what I will be doing next year at school. I don’t want to just have theoretical knowledge, I want to be able to use it and apply it, which the program focuses on.”
After being in Newfoundland, Doering will be returning to attend a five-day quantum cryptography school for young students. The program is run through the Institute for Quantum Computing in conjunction with the University of Waterloo.
“It is very exciting for him, and we are very proud of him. He works so hard all the time so it is nice to have these chances to go to new places and experience all the things that they can show him,” said Maura McCarthy, Doering’s mother.
When he finishes his quantum cryptography course Doering will be heading west to help his family move into their new home in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. He will then head to Vancouver to begin his first semester at UBC.
Doering is looking forward to starting the next chapter in his education but can hardly wait to tie on a pair of skates and try out for the UBC Thunderbirds hockey team. Standing at an impressive 6’6,” he is also a physical force to be reckoned with.