Zielinski is one of 40 Canadians this year to receive a Schulich Leader Scholarship, the country’s largest scholarship for students entering undergraduate studies in mathematics, science, technology or engineering.
“Initially, I was very shocked to receive the scholarship,” Zielinski said in an email to the Sheaf. “It was an honor to even be nominated by my school and when I found out that I had received the scholarship I was completely blown away and ecstatic. I had no idea how I would fare in comparison to others, so I thought my chances were slim.”
Seymour Schulich, a Toronto-based businessman and philanthropist created the award three years ago. Nominees must meet at least two out of three criteria: outstanding leadership, academic excellence or financial need. Zielinski applied on the basis of the first two.
Zielinski has always been involved in her community through dance, school sports, student government, music and volunteerism. In addition to teaching dance and coaching gymnastics, Zielinski has volunteered for the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, the Saskatoon Friendship Inn, the Childrens’ Festival of Saskatchewan and the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
At Marion M. Graham Collegiate, Zielinski took part in concert band, jazz band and school musicals. She was elected class representative on her school’s graduation committee, where she was largely responsible for planning and organizing her class’ graduation.
A talented dancer, Zielinski received the title of Miss Candance at the Candance Regional Dance Competition in Regina. The award allowed her to travel and compete in the Candance National Dance competition. She has also received the Falcon award for being a positive role model on the junior volleyball team, as well as the Great Distinction award for her leadership in her school’s junior and senior bands.
Besides the Schulich scholarship, Zielinski has received around $10,000 from high school proficiency awards.
Zielinski chose to attend the U of S to be close to her family.
“Family has always been very important to me and being able to be close to them and have their support as I go through university will help me to be as successful as possible,” Zielinski said. “Apart from location, the University of Saskatchewan is an excellent university with a wonderful engineering program, a beautiful campus and a lot to offer outside of regular classes.”
Zielinski’s decision to study engineering was influenced by her two favourite subjects: mathematics and art. She hopes that engineering will give her the opportunity to combine these interests.
“I am really looking forward to beginning my engineering degree at the University of Saskatchewan,” Zielinski said. “I am determined, ready to begin and am excited to create a community with others at the U of S.”
Zielinski credits the environment she was raised in for helping her to obtain her achievements thus far.
“The combination of my involvement from elementary school to high school has shaped who I am and made me a candidate for this leadership scholarship,” Zielinski said. “I have always pushed myself to improve and work to do the best that I can, along with support and encouragement from my family, teachers and peers.”
Photo courtesy of Definitive Design & Photography.