L.V. Rogers student Galen Boulanger was feeling a little jet-lagged and short of sleep on Sunday afternoon, having returned from a hectic two-day visit to Toronto that included multiple interviews with Loran scholarship judges, social events and networking opportunities.
Having been sponsored by his high school to become one of 30 Loran scholars in a national competition that pitted him against 3,800 other applicants, the busy Nelsonite had already advanced to the regional level and come out successful, being named one of the Top 75 finalists nationwide.
This trip to Ontario, which included opportunities to socialize with other scholars and students, was the final step before the society was due to announce the results.
Before he went to bed that night, Boulanger had an answer. The Loran Scholars Foundation called and informed him that he’d been successful in obtaining $100,000 in post-secondary funding. His tuition fees will be waived, he’ll receive a yearly stipend and get to participate in summer programs.
Just before the announcement, Boulanger expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the application process.
“No matter what happens, whether I win or not, going to that event was so great just for the connections,” he said. “This has been a lot of work. It was my first big application, and it was a learning experience, for sure.”
He’s especially thrilled about the connections he made.
“It was actually incredibly busy, but fun too. The interviews were only part of it. What was really great about the experience was all the people I met from all over the country. Seriously, I think I could find a place to stay with someone in pretty much every province in Canada now.”
Boulanger has been making a name for himself lately in the Kootenays.
Not only is he hosting Oxygen Art Centre’s upcoming first ever youth Talent Slam, he was also on the front-lines of the teacher’s strike protests with his jazz band Swing Theory and organized a solidarity camp-out last year.
Perhaps he’s best known for co-hosting Keep the Beat, a fundraiser held last year that raised over $10,000 for the charity Warchild, but you might have also seen him performing in a variety of different contexts at venues across Nelson.
Now Boulanger’s ready to take the next step: an education that will simultaneously allow him to study music (particularly classical voice) as well as sciences.
“Nelson is such a diverse community, I feel like I’ve been really lucky to be able to continue all my sciences and also have this musical background.”
Boulanger is currently weighing his options, considering either McGill or University of Ottawa.
“It could still change at this point.”
Julia Lo of the Loran Scholars Foundation said Boulanger is the first Nelson student to be named a Loran scholar. Every high school can nominate three students a year for the scholarship.
To learn more about the Loran scholarships visit loranscholar.ca.