UPDATE: Kyran Alikamik has been selected as one of 36 recipients of the Loran Award. Congratulations Kyran! We know you’ll make the North proud.
Kyran Alikamik has a message for youth growing up in the Beaufort Delta.
“If you consistently make the choice to work hard and develop yourself, you can see results in time,” he said. “You can choose to live a life of discipline and striving in spite of any struggles you may have had growing up.
“It’s a matter of choice.”
He’s living proof. The Ulukhaktok-born East Three student is in the running for the Loran Award — an up-to-$100,000 bonanza to help him pursue a degree in University.
With his eyes set on the University of British Columbia to pursue a Bachelor of Education and return to the Delta to teach, Alikamik is well on his way to showing his peers what can be done when one applies oneself.
While most scholarships are focused either on academic performance or are targeted towards specific demographics, the Loran Award focuses more on personal character and merit.
“It’s a pretty extensive online application process,” he said. “You have to put in a lot of information about yourself and the kind of individual you are and give them reasons to actually do an interview with you.”
Alikamik was first encouraged to apply for the extensive scholarship by Richard Mckinnon, who said he recognized the fire in Alikamik’s spirit years ago and has been helping guide him through his academic studies over the past few years.
He added Alikamik’s interest in literature, philosophy and psychology went well beyond academic studies.
“He has a constant thirst for knowledge, a desire to expand his mind, and a willingness to support and share with those around him,” said Mckinnon. “I feel that he has the intelligence and the mindset to obtain any goal that he pursues, and with his dream being to attend the University of British Columbia with the end goal of becoming an educator who will return to our district to teach in our schools; I could not think of a more worthy candidate.”
As one of 72 candidates, Alikamik still has to get through another round of interviews to become one of the 36 students awarded the scholarship each year.
His first interview kicks off March 2 and he said he’s ready to go, but even getting this far has shown him he has what it takes to go the rest of the way.
“I want to be an English teacher,” he said. “Literature is one of the best modes of personal expression for me and I think it enriches lives.
“The one thing I learned from being selected as one of the top 72 and rightly fighting for that spot is there are many ways to find a sense of self efficacy as an individual in the north.”