Local students wins $25,000 scholarship

Fort High graduate Nathan Wong has been proclaimed a “McMaster Scholar”–and earned a $25,000 scholarship from the university located in Hamilton.
Valued at $6,250 a year over four years, the scholarship only is offered to five students across Canada each year. Wong’s OAC average of 98.8 percent garnered him one of those spots out of a field of 600 students.
“I guess I was relieved and I was happy,” Wong said, noting he wasn’t expecting to win the scholarship. “It’s just nice to know students from this town can compete with people across Canada.”
Wong, the son of Tom and Roxanne Wong, plans to study kinesiology in the fall. At last month’s graduation ceremonies here, he also was awarded the Governor General’s Award for academic excellence–in addition to six other awards and scholarships.
Getting accepted as a “McMaster Scholar” took quite a bit of work, Wong said. He had to fill out an application form, write an essay, and get a teacher’s recommendation and a principal’s recommendation, not to mention maintain a high grade point average.
“It took quite a while [to go through it all],” he recalled. “I’m just thankful I got some help on the way from teachers willing to help me.”
Wong hopes to enrol in McMaster’s medical post-graduate program after he gets his kinesiology degree. But for now, he is concentrating on getting through first year.
“I have to maintain a minimum average of 80 percent, with no F grades, to maintain the full value of the scholarship,” Wong said.
“I’m a bit scared but also a bit excited,” he added. “I’ve got a bunch of friends going [to university] as well and they feel the same way, scholarship or no scholarship.”
During his time at Fort High, Wong served as president of the Student Executive Council and was a member of the senior band. He also helped organize food drives for the Salvation Army and other fundraising events, and represented Fort Frances at the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp.
Wong described his high school experience as a positive one, crediting the Fort High staff for much of it.
“I just wanted to thank the staff of the high school,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”