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News Release: Westwood Student Wins $70,000 TD Scholarship - Only 20 Awarded in Canada!

News Release: Westwood Student Wins $70,000 TD Scholarship - Only 20 Awarded in Canada!

(Fort McMurray, AB, June 5, 2021) Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) congratulates Krish Shah, our grade 12, Westwood Community High School student who just won the $70,000 TD Bank Community Leadership Scholarship. Krish is one of only 20 students across the nation to receive the honour! 

According to TD, the “Scholarships for Community Leadership are offered to students who...help support change, nurture progress and contribute to making the world a better place.”

A well-known name across the Division and the community, Krish, 17, garnered national attention when he co-created EcoYOLO, (Eco, for the environment, and YOLO, because you only live once) in grade 8, an environmental student group following the 2016 wildfires. Then a student at École McTavish, Krish and the group went on to plant hundreds of trees in areas hit the hardest by the disaster. In 2018, the group went on to win an environmental championing award from the prestigious Alberta Emerald Foundation. With help from staff, EcoYOLO, secured over $17,000 in corporate sponsorships for their campaign. 

In grade 9, Krish was awarded the “Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers” from the Governor General’s Office. He secured a Silver Medal and a Challenge Award at the Canada Wide Science Fair in grade 9 for his work with a SMART watch application called HALO (Heart Ability LOG and Operator) to detect heart irregularities. More recently, Krish has been involved with the YouthComputing student group, which promotes coding and STEM to our region’s youth. He is their VP of Projects. The list can go on.

Now headed to the University of Waterloo for Software Engineering “to learn more about how technology works so that one day I can use it to change how the world works,” Krish shares his sentiments on winning. 

“First of all, it's insane that I even got honoured with this scholarship in the first place -- all the credit goes to my family, friends, teachers, and mentors who supported me, and of course, thank you to TD for their commitment to youth in Canada.”

“This scholarship allows me to go to university without any worry about finances. Now I get to worry about the more important things: the problems that the world is facing, how to solve them, and how to meet the right people that will help me do that. The last thing is kind of already done for me because I get access to a network of 520 TD Scholarship alumni who I can connect with at any time.”

“I'm also very grateful that TD has recognized my dedication towards my community. From replanting trees with EcoYOLO to promoting technology with YouthComputing, to now starting to solve the problems that I see around the world, I've loved every single second of it -- and it feels really good that it was noticed. Altogether, with the $70,000 in financial aid, summer employment opportunities, annual gatherings, and a network of other passionate individuals, I'm really excited to see where this TD Scholarship for Community Leadership takes me,” he enthuses.

Westwood Principal, Cynthia Shelley is “thrilled for Krish, and his well-earned honour.”

“This type of an award is tremendously significant because it not only helps students pursue post-secondary opportunities with financial support ($70,000 is awe-inspiring!), but it also comes with mentorship and recognition as a community change agent. Meaningful action and taking initiative is essential for active citizenship, not just philosophical support, which is what Westwood holds as one of its core values. Krish has taken the many opportunities that Westwood and FMPSD have presented to him to new heights!”

“Krish has been a change agent for our community since he was in junior high at McTavish. He is incredibly inspiring as a youth community builder! He has been involved with Student Voice through various levels of student engagement: Westwood's Student Council, the RMWB's Mayor's Advisory on Youth and even on the provincial level with the Minister's Youth Council. He took on leadership roles within YouthComputing and was pivotal in organizing community wide Hackathons and Pitch Competitions to promote entrepreneurial initiatives for youth. He is an active member of Westwood's Robotics team and Green Initiative, where he has led camps for elementary-aged students in both environmental STEM camps and Coding-focused camps. Krish can solve a Rubik's Cube in seconds and his curiosity for learning and problem solving continues to bring him to new levels of innovation with each new skill that he learns. Krish is charismatic, creative and very hard-working.”

Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD congratulated Krish.

“Wow doesn’t begin to describe Krish’s amazing accomplishments at such a young age. This shouldn’t be surprising as he started giving back to the community at only 14 years old. Congratulations Krish! We are so proud of your scholarship, and your many achievements, but most of all, for your choice to give back to make this world better. We are grateful, and we can’t wait to see you accomplish your next goal.”

Congratulations Krish!

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager          

Fort McMurray Public School Division