Max Campbell’s dreams of perhaps one day making it to space got a down-to-Earth boost last week in the form of a $5,000 scholarship towards his university education.
The 17-year-old EDSS student was named one of 170 recipients this year of scholarships from the Horatio Alger Association of Canada, awarded annually to deserving high school students in financial need who have overcome significant adversity while demonstrating strength of character, strong academics, a commitment to pursuing higher education as well as a desire to contribute to society.
Since 2012, $6.28 million in scholarships have been awarded to 1,126 deserving young Canadians. Annually, the association awards $1.2 million in need-based scholarships to 245 students. Among the list of past recipients is Campbell’s sister, Savannah, who was one of 85 students selected in 2017, along with fellow EDSS student Rosemarie Hartman.
Campbell plans to pursue a degree in engineering, with a focus on aerospace applications. He’s applied to relevant programs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Queen’s in Kingston and the University of Toronto. He’s been accepted at the first two, and is waiting to hear back from U of T, the most recent application.
After all the applications have been assessed will come the job of weighing programs against such practicalities as cost of living, housing and job prospects in each of the three cities, said Campbell, noting other grants and offers will factor into the equation, as well.
The $5,000 from the Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship can be applied to whichever university he chooses.
“It’s going to be very helpful in paying for my postsecondary education,” said the Grade 12 student now in his last semester at EDSS.
Campbell credits much of his academic success to his teachers, particularly Grade 11 physics that opened up a new world to his line of study. That’s when he got interested in rockets, when his teacher challenged him to solve a rocketry problem.
“We got to build a rocket and launch it … to figure out how it works, to make it better,” he said. “That really started influencing me.”
“He’s had very good teaching – the teachers have all been very supportive,” said mom Wendy of his EDSS education.
A visit to the school from representatives of Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute was also helpful in that regard, he added.
“I started to know I wanted to get involved in the space industry.”
With that goal in mind, Campbell knew his grades, always good, would be a key part of his development, starting with university applications.
The Horatio Alger scholarship recognizes Campbell’s adherence to the late American author’s notion that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. Along with his studies, Campbell works part-time through the school year, carrying that through the summer, and has a long history of volunteering, particularly as a member of Elmira Scouts – with hundreds of hours under his belt, he’s well past the 40 hours required of all Ontario students in order to graduate.
“Thank you to the Horatio Alger Association. I am beyond grateful and extremely honoured to be named a scholarship recipient,” he said.