Medal-winning student wants to help fight cancer

CHARLIE SCHELLINCK, principal of Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, presents the Governor General
CHARLIE SCHELLINCK, principal of Georges P. Vanier Secondary School, presents the Governor General's Award to Lance Shaver.
— image credit: Lindsay Chung

When Lance Shaver leaves for Victoria this Friday, he will take the first steps on the path he hopes will lead to helping people with cancer.

The 18-year-old from Merville, who graduated from Georges P. Vanier Secondary School in June, will pursue a degree in microbiology at the University of Victoria.

"I've always been interested in sciences and wanted to further that into a degree in medical oncology, cancer research and helping patients with cancer," he said.

He says his interest in oncology comes from knowing a lot of people who have been affected by cancer — and knowing that it's hard to go anywhere without talking to someone who's been affected by cancer in some way.

"It's something that affects the whole world, and it's something that I can make a difference in, I hope," he said.

At Vanier, Shaver had the highest average of all graduating students in 2011, earning him the Governor General's Academic Medal.

Shaver finished with 100 per cent in four courses — Math 12, Calculus 12, Biology 12 and Accounting 12 — and scored 100 per cent on his provincial exam in Physics.

He earned a $2,500 provincial scholarship with his high provincial exam scores.

"We're very proud," said Vanier principal Charlie Schellinck. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavours."

Shaver is excited to begin university and is looking forward to participating in different clubs such as the Outdoors Club and the Rotary Interact Club at university.

Shaver says his high marks can be attributed to a lot of studying, and over time, he's learned to study for exams without becoming overly stressed out.

"I studied a lot for my first semester's exams, and that definitely served me very well, especially with physics," he said. "I focused more on relaxing and studying as well, rather than stressing about them."

Between all that studying, Shaver found time to participate in many clubs and programs during high school.

In Grade 11, Shaver was part of the Explore program, and he describes that as an eye-opening experience that taught him a lot of inter-personal skills.

"It helped me strive to be the best I could," he said. "That's when I really started to pick up my academic determination."

While at Vanier, Shaver was part of the Business Team, the Environment Club and the Rotary Interact Club, serving as president for one year and serving as a member of the directors for another year.

Shaver is grateful to everyone who has helped him achieve all that he has achieved.

"Thanks to all my teachers for all the support they've given and everything they've done to inspire me to be a better person, and to all my friends and family," he said.

Vanier's other scholarship winners were Naima Baird of Denman Island, Nicholas Blackburn of Courtenay, Daniel Briggs of Royston, Marin Evergreen of Courtenay, Benjamin Gawley of Courtenay, Anneliese McNaughton of Courtenay, Paul Walton of Denman Island and Andrew Wu of Courtenay.

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