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Scholarships to fuel pursuit of dreams

Lorraine Graves   Feb-20-2019

Cole Langer and Leon Picha outside Matthew McNair Secondary School.

Photo by Chung Chow


Leon Picha and Cole Langer’s futures look a little brighter today.

The two students from Matthew McNair Secondary have each won a $100,000 Loran Scholarship Foundation scholarship to further their post-secondary education.

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McNair principal Jason Leslie describes Picha and Langer as: “Truly remarkable students who have made positive contributions in too many ways to count. We are incredibly proud of these boys.”

Picha was overjoyed at the news.

“I can’t even put it into emotions honestly. There’s such a great opportunity that’s been given to me and I’m overjoyed to be able to take that opportunity and see where I can go from there."

Picha, as one of 35 Loran Scholars in Canada to receive this funding, hopes to pursue a business degree. His dream university would be McGill but will be happy wherever he ends up, knowing that his university expenses will be covered for his undergraduate degree.

The Loran scholars also have access to networking and summer internships through the Loran Foundation. Of over 5,000 Canadian students who applied, 88 finalists were selected. Langer and Picha are two of the six to receive the large scholarship in B.C., 35 in all of the country.

"I’m super excited about it," says Langer, “It’s an incredible opportunity.

“The scholarship gives me the opportunity to go to school outside of B.C. and the program gives me summer internships. That’s pretty incredible, if I was able to go to McGill, being able to speak French and be immersed in the culture,” Langer says.

Langer says he hopes to study psychology then go on to an MBA or a law degree.

Asked how his parents feel, Langer says: “My family is super excited for me. My mom when she first heard from me was crying and my dad was just as happy for me. Same with my siblings.”

Picha says his family is elated: “So proud. I get texts daily saying how proud they are, even hourly sometimes saying, just a reminder that I’ve made them proud.”

“Every single person that I have come across in my life has shaped me into the person I am today and I can honestly say that if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be one of the (Loran) scholars in Canada,” Picha says with a smile.

Both young men concur, the effect of the opportunities and the funding through the Loran Scholars Foundation is, as Langer says, “Huge!”


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