Tristian Nemcek wasn’t sure why LCCVI teacher Jessica McKay wanted him to go to the photocopier room and put on one of her husband’s sports jacket.
But as it turned out, the surprise that awaited was worth the confusion.
The LCCVI senior had a special guest, Dr. Barry Craig, the principal of Huron University College in London. He came to present the student council co-prime minister with the prestigious Hellmuth Scholarship – a full ride for four years of university education.
“It’s the most prestigious scholarship we offer,” said Craig as he handed over the certificate to Nemcek who had just arrived in LCCVI’s heritage room dressed in the borrowed jacket. The university hands out 10 Hellmuth scholarship each year to students apply to the college from across Canada.
The scholarship is more than just about grades, Craig said. “We’re looking for students with something in here,” he said tapping his heart. “Heart and care for others, that’s the key.”
Craig pointed to Nemcek’s involvement at LCCVI and as a student trustee with the Lambton-Kent District School Board as well as being involved in all kinds of team sports as part of what set him apart.
“Our motto is developing leaders with heart – you already are one.”
Nemcek was kept in the dark about the announcement as was his family, including LCCVI Principal Greg Nemcek. As Craig welcomed his son to Huron, and offered his card telling him to call at any time with questions, the senior Nemcek was visibly moved, wiping away a tear or two.
After the announcement, Tristan told his family Ms McKay had pulled him aside and told him she wanted him to do something unusual; put on the jacket and go to the photocopying room and wait. He knew something was up when he spotted his mom in the school.
Nemcek had only been short listed for the scholarship in February and submitted his final video submission two weeks ago.
He plans to take the Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies at Huron which will include two years at the Ivey School of Business. His dream job is to work in the front office of a professional sports team.