DSBN student named one of 90 Finalists for 2024 Loran Award

Grade 12 student Felix Jeong was nominated for his “unwavering commitment and contributions to both his school and greater community”

ThoroldToday Staff

Chosen from a pool of over 5,000 applicants, Grade 12 District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) student Felix Jeong was recently named one of 90 Finalists for the prestigious 2024 Loran Award for his unwavering commitment and contributions to both his school and greater community.

The news was both welcome and unexpected for the Eden High School student; Jeong initially thought friends were playing a joke on him when he first received a call informing him that he was a finalist.

“I felt really nervous but happy and excited too, knowing the significance of past leadership roles I’ve held and my involvement with the community,” said Jeong. “It’s very personally fulfilling to be recognized for some of my most impactful and important accomplishments.”

The Loran Scholars Foundation identifies students with character and intrinsic leadership qualities who demonstrate a commitment to service. As the program’s website states, “We look for qualities that grades alone cannot show: a breadth of interest, and deep commitment to service, the courage to make difficult decisions, and the determination to work towards long-term goals.”

Jeong’s strength of character is most evident in his personal experience as a student at Eden High School. He arrived in Canada with his family from South Korea when he was in Grade 5 and did not speak English. Knowing first-hand the challenges he faced and the importance of the support he received from his teachers and friends, Jeong makes it a priority to welcome newcomers to his school to ensure they feel safe and included.

Along with compassion, Jeong’s application also highlights his leadership qualities. He has been a member of Eden’s student council for the past four years and is this year’s school Prime Minister. He is also an active participant in his school’s Yearbook Club, Ethics Bowl, Asian Equity Alliance, DECA, Ski Club, and varsity teams for badminton and baseball. Jeong also finds time to tutor students in almost all subject areas, providing them with excellent support given his academic standing which has been in the top five percent each year of his high school experience.

Despite several school-related commitments, Jeong makes time to create positive change in his community. He is an experienced tennis player who, along with competing as an OFSAA athlete, also volunteers as a coach. One of his most notable acts of service, however, has been through his volunteer work with Cyber Seniors, a non-profit organization that provides free technology training and support for senior citizens.

Jeong founded the Accessibility, Community, and Equity Committee (ACE) for this organization, with the goal of educating seniors about relevant and timely topics such as equity, diversity, and inclusion. He also taught monthly webinars to help bridge the technological gap, providing seniors with a safe and accessible space to learn and further their skills.

“I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and drive,” shared Jeong. “There is no limitation to what you can do or how innovative you can be. My hope is to potentially make or do something that can positively affect others.”

More recently, Jeong traveled to Toronto to attend the Loran National Interviews, held at the end of February, where he had the chance to be named one of 36 Loran Scholars. Though Jeong was not selected, he, along with other Finalists, is eligible to receive a one-time $6,000 Loran Finalist Award, tenable at any Canadian university.

“Overall, it was an amazing experience!” shared Jeong. “This award will be very beneficial to me in my academic future.”

“I can’t think of a more deserving individual to become a Loran finalist,” said Kelly Parlatore, Principal of Eden High School. “Felix humbly approaches every aspect of his life with curiosity, positivity, and thoughtfulness. His leadership skills and passion for change will propel him towards his next adventure and our school could not be prouder.”

Jeong’s volunteer work aligns with his post-secondary plans; the soon-to-be-graduate has expressed interest in studying computer science or software engineering at one of his favoured Canadian universities.

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