Recent Upper Canada College graduate Aryan Paliwal is one of 15 students to receive Western University’s Presidential Scholarship, which is valued at $50,000.
The scholarship recognizes all-around excellence and is awarded on the basis of outstanding academic performance to students who demonstrate ability for creative and innovative thought and a passion for the pursuit of learning. It also recognizes exceptional achievement in extracurricular activities, and a special emphasis is placed on a person’s commitment to community service through ongoing contributions to school and community life.
Paliwal was nominated for the scholarship by UCC. He submitted an application and then went to Western for an interview.
“The application for the scholarship consisted of an overview of my extracurricular and academic achievements, volunteering and employment experience, as well as questions about why I chose Western, my future goals and the importance of various activities and awards to me,” says Paliwal.
Paliwal also had to write a 1,000-word essay about an issue of public importance. He wrote about the opioid crisis and analyzed its roots, implications and possible solutions.
“Apart from academic performance and extracurricular achievement, I think I won because I demonstrated an interest in Western’s programs and all they had to offer, and because of the detailed research I had done for my essay, which I was able to speak about in my interview,” says Paliwal.
Paliwal was offered advanced entry opportunity status for Western’s Ivey School of Business.
“The program is unique in that it allows me to explore a wide range of academic disciplines in the first two years.” Says Paliwal. “During that time I will focus on economics while also taking courses in psychology and computer science.”
Paliwal was part of UCC’s Model United Nations program, which gave him the opportunity to compete in conferences across North America and help run the College’s own Model UN conference.
“My proudest achievement was winning best delegate in my committee at Berkley Model UN, the world’s oldest Model UN conference, in Grade 10,” says Paliwal. “I think more than the award, this experience helped propel my deeper involvement at school in a number of extracurricular activities.”
Paliwal was also involved with UCC’s World Affairs Conference and the Free the Children Club.
“I think that the IB program and coursework has allowed me to explore a wide range of academic disciplines, and helped me find a passion for economics while still encouraging me to expand my horizons and participate in a wide variety of projects,” says Paliwal, who cited writing an extended essay on the abnormalities of the life cycle of crayfish at Norval with Premek Hamr as an example.