Whistler student wins prestigious Schulich scholarship

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Simon Long, a Whistler High School elder, received the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship, the first in the school’s history.

Long, who is one of two to receive Queen’s University’s $ 80,000 STEM-focused scholarship, and one of 100 students to receive the award across the country, was pleased to be nominated by his school and never expected to. to win.

Topping the list for what the award brings, said Long, who plans to study computer science, “is the mentor that accompanies the scholarship for four years of college. I honestly think it’s going to be more valuable than the money just to have someone there to help me and answer questions.

Long’s main goal for his future career is to build something on his own. “I specialize in designing video games,” he said.

“My career goal… would definitely be something that I do on my own, not really like a job, but kind of starting something. Like making a game myself, starting some kind of software project or hardware project, but yeah, I would really like to … employ myself.

Jamie Walzl, a high school math and computer teacher, describes him as a “gifted problem solver” with a “unique curiosity” and believes Long will continue to excel in computer programming in college and in his future career.

“All the work he did in computer science at school was remarkable,” Walzl said.

“And I think once he’s got the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people and people who are successful at his level, he’s going to really excel and do great things.

It is Long’s entrepreneurial spirit that may be at the origin of obtaining the scholarship, said mother Gina Mollicone-Long.

“He’s a very good student, he has good grades and he’s a computer scientist, without a doubt,” she says. “But I think what sets him apart is that he started making electronic music. He started to compose it, he created a label, recorded it, mixed it, made albums, did the illustrations, found a distributor for Spotify and Apple Music and established himself as a music artist. ‘recording.

“He’s produced three full albums and a single and he’s getting royalties, not a lot but still, and he’s done it all on his own.

Long is active in a variety of sports including volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and biathlon. He also plays the piano.

For many families, sending several children to college can be a major financial strain, so the fact that one child receives an $ 80,000 scholarship is often a huge relief. However, Mollicone-Long said that in this case all the relief would likely come from Long’s side as they have an agreement with their children to pay half of their school fees.

“Yeah, there was definitely [a sense of relief] because, to be honest, I’ve worked a lot of places and always hated it … [so] it’s just nice to have this pretty big load taken off my shoulders, ”said Long.

“The $ 80,000,000 will certainly help a lot on the financial side.”

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