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Three P.E.I. high school students pursue $100,000 educational award

Isaac McCardle, left, and Noah Mannholland, both Grade 12 students at Colonel Gray High School, are thrilled to be among the top 88 of 5,194 candidates from across Canada, selected on character, commitment to service in the community and leadership potential, for a chance to earn a Loran Award.
Isaac McCardle, left, and Noah Mannholland, both Grade 12 students at Colonel Gray High School, are thrilled to be among the top 88 of 5,194 candidates from across Canada, selected on character, commitment to service in the community and leadership potential, for a chance to earn a Loran Award. - Jim Day
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

These three P.E.I. high school students excel both in and out of the classroom.

Academically, the trio each manage grades well into the 90s. Away from the books, they are making their mark, too.

Darragh Clayton, 18, of Emyvale along with Charlottetown’s Noah Mannholland, 18, and Isaac McCardle, 17, have been selected to participate in the Loran Scholars Foundation’s national selections in Toronto on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

They each have a chance to earn a Loran Award valued up to $100,000 over four years for undergraduate studies in Canada.

Clayton, Mannholland and McCardle are among the top 88 of 5,194 candidates from across Canada, based on evidence of character, commitment to service in the community, and leadership potential.

The three students are thrilled to be among such a select group of their peers.

“Well, obviously I was really excited,’’ Clayton, a Grade 12 student at Bluefield, said of being selected to participate.

“I was shocked at first.’’

Darragh Clayton, 18, of Emyvale is one of three P.E.I. students participating in the national selections for a chance to earn a Loran Award valued up to $100,000 over four years for undergraduate studies Canada. - Jim Day
Darragh Clayton, 18, of Emyvale is one of three P.E.I. students participating in the national selections for a chance to earn a Loran Award valued up to $100,000 over four years for undergraduate studies Canada.

Mannholland says receiving one of the up to 36 Loran Awards to be granted this year would be a “massive relief’’ to his parents.

Whether or not he returns home from Toronto with a Loran Award, McCardle expects the experience to be beneficial.

“I think it’s a really great opportunity,’’ he says.

All three students are setting their sights on careers that will allow them to do a great deal of good for people and society.

For Mannholland, post-secondary studies (ideally at the University of Waterloo) are likely to focus on chemical or mechanical engineering. 

“I want to fix problems and help people doing so,’’ he says.

And, if all goes well, he would like to do so working for NASA or the Canadian Space Agency.

McCardle has a hankering to become a medical doctor or an epidemiologist, while a career in environmental law appeals to Clayton.

All three already spend a good deal of their time helping others.

Clayton, who plays hockey and socces, is a student council executive, she volunteers at the Cornwall library and at her school’s breakfast program.

“I’m really empathetic,’’ she says.

“I really care about others. I really care about the environment.’’

McCardle, who runs cross country and track, is a member of the Key Club at Colonel Gray and, like Clayton, is a student council executive. He plays in his school’s senior concert band and coaches sailing in the summer.

Mannholland, who plays in several school bands, is a peer helper at Colonel Gray, a member of Making Waves – an organization dedicated to teaching children about healthy relationships – and he volunteers on Saturdays as a teaching assistant with Dance Umbrella’s musical theatre program, teaching young children how to act, dance and sing.

Valuable award

The Loran Scholars Foundation will hold its national selections in Toronto on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Each of the 88 participants, which include three high school students from P.E.I., have a chance to earn a Loran Award valued up to $100,000 over four years for undergraduate studies in Canada. 

After national selections, the Loran Scholars Foundation will grant up to 36 Loran Awards. The Loran Award includes annual stipends, tuition waivers from a partner university, mentorship, summer-internship funding, as well as annual retreats and forums. Participants not selected as Loran Scholars will each be eligible to receive a $5,000 finalist award.

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