First-year Science student Paniz Moradi has joined the Mount Allison University community as a 2019 Loran Scholar, receiving Canada’s largest and most comprehensive undergraduate merit-based award. Moradi is one of 35 award recipients across Canada, selected from over 5,000 applicants.
“Being named a Loran Scholar is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Moradi. “The experience the Loran Foundation has given me so far is just as valuable as the award itself. I am so grateful for this opportunity. This process was truly life-changing for me and will push me to become a better person and leader. In this regard, my job on this path has already begun.”
A Rebanks Family Loran Scholar, Moradi spearheaded an initiative to bring a refugee family to Canada. Originally from Iran, she and her family spent two years in exile in Turkey before coming to Canada in 2016. She worked in a factory to help support her family in Turkey and organized young people to take care of her community’s elders, and taught math and music to children from war zones.
“Life as a refugee is not easy. It was hard to imagine a future when my family was living in Turkey,” she says. “I used this experience to look for ways I could help in the community, and help make things a little better.”
Since arriving in Canada in 2016, Moradi has learned English, helped her family adapt, worked part-time, and completed volunteer work both at Mount Allison and her high school, Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute.
Although she had not heard of Mount Allison before becoming a Loran Scholar, Moradi says the University stood out when she was making her decision.
“Mount Allison looked at me as a person, not a number,” she says. “I could see that community means a lot here to everyone — students, professors, and staff. This university offers me a safe environment to learn subjects I am passionate about, as well as explore my character and grow my leadership skills.”
Outside of her studies, Moradi plays violin and is volunteering with a number of student organizations including Women in Science, a group that sees female science students volunteering with female students at the local elementary school. She is also working with Cross Cultural Youth Project, which she learned about at the University’s Clubs and Societies Fair, and volunteering with the CNIB to help people who have low or no vision. She also plans to volunteer with SHARE, Mount Allison’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education Service’s Walk-Home program.
The Loran Scholars Foundation identifies and supports talented students who show promise of leadership, strength of character, and a deep commitment to service in the community. The Foundation has 25 partner universities, including Mount Allison, who help support these young leaders by waiving tuition and helping to steward scholars throughout their undergraduate studies.
Moradi is the 13th Loran Scholar to attend Mount Allison since the University became a Loran Scholar partner in 1998. Past Loran Scholars at Mount Allison include: Calee Blanchard (Loran Scholar ’98); Anne Cheverie (Loran Scholar ’04); Natalie Gerum (W. Garfield Weston Loran Scholar ’05); Kailea Switzer (Loran Scholar ’05); Michael Currie (Loran Scholar ’05); Shawn Potter (W. Garfield Weston Loran Scholar ’06); Justin Oake (Loran Scholar ’06); Maria Rauch (née Maute) (Loran Scholar ’06); Hyla LaPointe (W. Garfield Weston Loran Scholar '08); Danya Dziedzic (W. Garfield Weston Loran Scholar ’09); Evelyn Wainewright (W. Garfield Weston Loran Scholar ’10); and Katherine Chamandy (BMO Capital Markets Loran Scholar ’14).
About the Loran Scholars Foundation and Loran Award
The Loran Scholars Foundation, established in 1988, is a national charity that works in partnership with universities, donors, and volunteers throughout the country to find and nurture young people who demonstrate strength of character, commitment to service, and leadership potential. The foundation looks for qualities in Loran Scholars that a transcript alone cannot show — integrity, courage, compassion, determination, entrepreneurial spirit, and a high level of personal autonomy — and invests in these students to study and realize their potential on Canadian university campuses.
Loran Scholars receive a renewable four-year award valued at over $100,000 comprising an annual $10,000 living stipend and matching tuition waiver from one of the foundation’s 25 partner universities; up to $10,000 in funding for tri-sectoral summer internships (enterprise, public policy, and community development); one-on-one mentorship; and the opportunity to connect with other high-potential youth through scholar gatherings. Following their undergraduate studies, Loran Scholars are welcomed into an engaged alumni community, in which former scholars connect and collaborate through regional hubs and larger reunion events.