This article is courtesy of read://https_globalnews.ca/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fglobalnews.ca%2Fnews%2F10147158%2Frecipient-order-of-the-white-rose%2F
Amelia Dai is this year's winner of the prestigious Order of the White Rose scholarship, an engineering award founded nine years ago to honour the 14 women killed during the École Polytechnique massacre.
"I feel heartbroken for these women who lost their lives at École Polytechnique while pursuing their dreams to become engineers, not too different from myself," Dai said at a ceremony at the school where the attack happened.
"I still need to take the time to process all the emotions. I think I am feeling more grateful than proud at the moment."
The Order of the White Rose scholarship was founded nine years ago by the now-renamed Polytechnique Montreal engineering school, and survivors of the tragedy. It serves as a tribute to the women killed, and as a beacon of hope for the future.
The $50,000 award is given to a Canadian engineering student annually.
"The scholarship allows us to build on this tragedy, and to provide an opportunity for promising outstanding young women in engineering," said Michèle Prévost, an engineering professor at Polytechnique Montreal and the Order of the White Rose jury president.
Dai moved to Montreal from China with her parents when she was 10 years old, settling in New Brunswick. She pursued her undergraduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of British Columbia, graduating as the valedictorian.
In a video montage shown during the awards ceremony, the dean of the engineering school said Dai was one of the most impressive students the school had ever seen. She is now pursuing her PhD at MIT in Boston, working on finding sustainable energy solutions.
While pursuing her studies, Dai remained an active volunteer in her community. She founded a mentoring program for high school students, while organizing events promoting justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
Prévost said the jury doesn't just consider academic excellence when handing out the award. They also want someone well-rounded who contributes to their community. She said Dai's impressive resumé catapulted her to win the award.
"We want a person who is not just academically outstanding, we want someone who will make a difference in the community," Prévost said. "She is kind, she is devoted, she is excellent. She will change the world."
I was inspired to create a more diverse and inclusive community wherever I go," she said. "I like volunteering. I like to make friends and take a break from the more technical side of classes. It brings me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I see people support and empower each other to become better versions of themselves."
Nathalie Provost was one of the founders of the prize, and is a survivor of the massacre. She said she is blown away by the how impressive Dai is.
"I am thrilled to know and understand we in humanity we have this kind of people with us able to find a solution for problems so broad, so difficult," Provost said. "Each year when I discover who is chosen I am always completely amazed. I was a good student but I was never as exceptional as those women are."
The school will mark the 34th anniversary of the shooting on Dec. 6th.
Story via Global News