News Release: Westwood’s Dhruv Patel Wins $100,000 Loran Scholarship - One of Only 34 in Canada


(Fort McMurray, AB - February 13, 2018) Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) congratulates Dhruv Patel, Westwood Community High School student, who has won the $100,000 Loran Scholarship, the largest undergraduate award in Canada! He is one of only 34 students across the nation, who won the prestigious honour.

Dhruv, who is in grade 12 was named one of 88 finalists last month. Over 5,000 students applied for the Loran Award, which includes “mentorship, funding for summer internships, a weeklong orientation expedition, annual retreats and other scholar gatherings.”

“Where do I even begin to explain how amazing, humbling, and grateful winning this award is,” enthused Dhruv, 17.

“The national interviews were over a span of two days in Toronto, and I got to meet some  wonderful people from across Canada, who are doing most extraordinary work I've ever seen, especially the youth. I feel privileged and honoured as well as very lucky to be able to call myself a Loran Scholar and I am very excited for my future ventures. All in all, I hope to have made my teachers and mentors as well as my community proud, and thank them all for supporting me through the years,” added Dhruv, who is headed to the University of Waterloo to pursue a degree in Mechatronics Engineering (integration of computer, mechanical, electrical, and system design).

Cynthia Shelley, Principal, Westwood Community High School was thrilled with the announcement.

“We are so very excited Dhruv has been selected as one of Canada's 34 Loran Scholars, but we are not surprised! Dhruv is a leader and a team player, who is always looking for meaningful ways to improve his community. He is a very hardworking, accomplished and humble young man, who is yet another example of how Westwood and FMPSD have helped to inspire and support students in achieving great things.”

“We congratulate Dhruv on becoming a recipient of the $100,000 scholarship and the opportunities that come with such an honour. Dhruv was asked to conduct six different interviews as part of this qualifying round; the first of the six interviews was on his birthday. This is a pretty fabulous birthday gift to receive. Congratulations Dhruv!”

Indeed, Dhruv is all about “leadership, character, and service,” which are the selection criteria for the scholarship. His leadership in coding, and computer science endeavours have helped Westwood Coders, a student organization flourish. He is also the co-president of YouthComputing, a social profit group he co-founded with fellow Westwood students to champion coding/computer science in FMPSD schools, and in the region. 

He is also on the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Youth (MACOY), and is working on a major IT project for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Dhruv is also an accomplished badminton player, and coach, who has played Mayor Don Scott in a friendly match.

Doug Nicholls, Superintendent, FMPSD, congratulated Dhruv.

“Dhruv’s selection is an amazing accomplishment.  We are very proud of his community work, his initiatives and his contribution to Westwood Community High School.  He has demonstrated outstanding academic and leadership skills in our District and we wish him continued success at Waterloo and beyond.”

Congratulations Dhruv.

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Manager

Fort McMurray Public School District

Cell: 780-880-7666