The Enver Creek Secondary graduate is one of the recipients of the $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship, Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarships.
The future of British Columbia is in good hands as youth such as Tejash Poddar are aiming to use their knowledge and skills to make a positive change in the world. Tejash Poddar is one of the recipients of the $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. Schulich Leader Scholarships are Canada’s most coveted undergraduate STEM scholarships. One hundred are awarded to entrepreneurial-minded high school graduates enrolling in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) program at 20 partner universities across Canada. “Being given this opportunity is a sign that I should continue doing what I love, and aim to be at the forefront of movers in the STEM world,” says Tejash, a graduate of Enver Creek Secondary in Surrey.
As a STEM-focused scholarship, Schulich Leader Scholarship stood out to Tejash for a couple of reasons. He states that the scholarship not only provides students across Canada with funds for their post-secondary education, but also enables and encourages them to connect and collaborate with each other as a part of a network of leaders. “I believe this is more valuable than the money itself. I can now get to know and work among other passionate minds across the country, all of whom are motivated to make a difference in society,” explains the recipient, who will be studying Engineering at Simon Fraser University in the fall. Tejash is grateful to his parents, teachers and friends for their support in this process. Tejash’s parents, Rina and Mohan Poddar, are extremely proud of their son’s achievements. “We are delighted to see him growing into a caring young man.” Their advice to Tejash is to “be thankful of this opportunity, stay true to who you are, and keep shining your light.”
From a very young age, Tejash has always been interested in and eager to learn about technology. “Whether tinkering with gadgets at home, or 3D modelling at school, I can always anticipate fascination and curiosity. This, combined with my love for technology (this comes from my father), has led me to take on many projects throughout the past couple years. Some of these include designing, building, wiring, and coding my own arcade cabinet for my grade 11 engineering project, and starting my own web development company through which I help small businesses and community organizations mark their digital footprint,” shares the web developer, who was recognized as the top engineering student at Enver Creek Secondary.
Tejash hopes to use the knowledge and skills he acquires towards helping solve significant issues in the world. “I aim to leverage the opportunities and connections I form while tackling these problems, and hope to both inspire and be inspired by other creative minds facing these same issues. Ultimately, I want to make a positive change in the way people live their lives, and I am excited to see how the future leads me down this path,” says the passionate youth who calls Elon Musk his role model. Talking fondly about his role model, Tejash says, “Whether through pushing sustainable energy or helping further space exploration, his choices aren’t determined by profit-driven shareholders and directors, but instead by his own drive to prove adversaries wrong. Like him, I hope to one day be working in an emerging field motivated to make a difference in the world.” His advice to youngsters who wish to follow your path is “to continue doing what you love. Don’t let others tell you what your future should hold, but instead be ambitious, and drive to create one filled with the things that make you happy.”
Photos: Contributed by Tejash Poddar