Grade 10 student Eva Greyeyes of Toronto is proud to have represented her Indigenous culture in an accomplished film.
Greyeyes has a supporting role in the movie Indian Horse, a film inspired by a novel by Richard Wagamese about an Indigenous boy sent to a residential school. Indian Horse premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has recently been sent to the big screen at cinemas.
“When I was cast in Indian Horse, I read the book, and it was just, it was so crazy to me that I was going to be able to be part of a film that I feel is so important,” Greyeyes said. “It’s about a boy who goes to residential school and both my grandparents on my dad’s side went to residential school.”
“It’s really important for me to be able to be a part of such an impactful film,” she continued.
Greyeyes has big dreams. She hopes to go to an Ivy League university someday, something she says not many Indigenous students get to do.
Greyeyes is one of 80 students from across Canada heading to the University of New Brunswick for the award-winning program SHAD, which takes place at 16 host universities from coast to coast.
Founded in 1980 to help youth reach their potential, students in grades 10 to 12 are immersed in a one-month enrichment program focused on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The students interact with renowned university faculty and visionary corporate leaders. In a unique element of the program, the students are challenged to come up with an original solution to a societal problem they learn about in the first week. It teaches them about entrepreneurship and innovation and leaves the students seeing how they can make an immediate impact.
“These exceptional students from all parts of Canada spend the month of July together with their peers and mentors. We hope they end the month not only dreaming big, but empowered with the tools and passion they need to take risks, roll up their sleeves and get going,” said SHAD President and CEO Tim Jackson.
Greyeyes first learned about SHAD from a poster and presentation in her school. “By the end of the talk, I just remember thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, I have to do this! This sounds like one of the best opportunities that I could have in Canada.’” She is most excited to join other like-minded, ambitious, and creative students at SHAD UNB.
“I’ve never really encountered a lot of people who love school and love learning as much as I do,” Greyeyes said. “To be able to be in a group of students that are exactly like me and are there to do their best and learn, that seems like the best part of it.”
This sentiment was echoed by Grade 11 student Andrew Zhan of Ottawa, who will join Greyeyes at UNB this July. He is confident that SHAD will help him achieve his goals. “I believe SHAD will help me in my journey to actualize my dreams by providing the spark of inspiration that sets me in the right direction,” said Zhan. “The invaluable friendships and network I can make through SHAD will give me the confidence to persevere through the challenges I will face knowing that I will have the support of an amazing community.”
Zhan started a launch club at his school that helps young entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running. In its inaugural year, the club helped launch three start-up businesses, including one of his own.
Zhan’s company, EcoChange, focuses primarily on developing clean technology. The first product that his team developed was a mobile phone case constructed entirely from recycled materials. The phone case is unique because it has a storage compartment for accessories like ear buds, allowing the user to prevent their accessories from being damaged in bags or pockets. Zhan is excited to bring this entrepreneurial spirit to SHAD.
“I feel honoured about joining the SHAD network and being able to associate with so many amazing people,” Zhan said. “I feel very excited about the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest youth from all across the country and the positive impact it will have on me.”
SHAD 2018 commences July 1 and wraps up on July 27, after which both Greyeyes and Zhan will join other change makers and top innovators in an impressive network of nearly 17,000 SHAD Fellows, including an NHL hockey executive, a serial entrepreneur on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, a NASA researcher, and a best-selling author.
SHAD produces leaders for Canada through its award-winning, life-changing, pan-Canadian enrichment platform for high school students. Every year, SHAD helps almost 1,000 young Canadians tap into their full potential through an innovative month-long program at one of 16 partner university campuses. There, students apply STEAM (science-tech-engineering-arts-math) disciplines to real-life public policy and entrepreneurial challenges, forging insights and valuable relationships for life. Among its thriving global network of close to 17,000 SHAD Fellows and innovators are 32 Rhodes Scholars, 88 Loran Scholars, and 55 Schulich Leaders. For more information, visit shad.ca.
Media contact Teddy Katz, Vice President, Media Relations | SHAD firstname.lastname@example.org, 647 505 8095