University of Winnipeg student Sidney Leggett (BSc’22) has been named a finalist for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s first comprehensive leadership-based scholarship program for master’s and professional studies.
I hope to further pursue how to find impactful and innovative ways to empower Indigenous youth to follow their dreams.
The scholarship enables students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while connecting with mentors and participating in an intensive leadership development program.
Meet Sidney Leggett
Leggett is completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computer Science. During her time at UWinnipeg, she’s served as treasurer and built the website for the University’s Chapter of the Canadian Region of AISES (.cAISES), a campus group for Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
She’s also been a Pathways to Graduate Studies (P2GS) scholar and instructor. P2GS prepares participants for senior undergraduate and graduate studies science courses and research while connecting with students of similar backgrounds and interests to form a network that includes graduate students and faculty.
In addition, Leggett has also worked to revitalize the data collection process for a youth-focused, Indigenous-led non-profit organization and built a story-catching website in collaboration with Indigenous community members from three cities.
Leggett works four part-time jobs during the year and spent the last two summers working as a junior epidemiologist and research intern. She hopes to pursue a Master of Science in Epidemiology or Computer Science, which will help lay the foundation for a career in Indigenous research.
“Being a finalist is very validating that the work I’m doing in the community is important to the world of academia,” she said. “I hope to further pursue how to find impactful and innovative ways to empower Indigenous youth to follow their dreams.”
“My experience at The University of Winnipeg has given me the connections to grow my skills and build my confidence to prepare me for this opportunity.”
Leggett is among 50 finalists representing 28 universities at a final round of interviews from March 24 to 26. During the interviews, she will meet with leaders from academia, business, government, and the social sector.
Final interviews are planned to take place in Montréal, with travel costs covered.
About the McCall MacBain Scholarships
Nearly 700 people have applied for the McCall MacBain Scholarships this year and 146 participated in regional interviews with local leaders in November before the 50 finalists were selected. Up to 20 McCall MacBain Scholars will be chosen after final interviews.
Finalists were chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity. They include aspiring dentists, engineers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, scientists, lawyers, policy-makers, doctors, public health specialists, and more.
“The McCall MacBain Scholarship finalists have demonstrated empathy, integrity, and courage in a rapidly changing world,” said Natasha Sawh, Dean of the McCall MacBain Scholarships. “While their undergraduate experiences may have differed from what they initially expected, these students have dedicated their time and talents to a wide array of initiatives. They have distinguished themselves through their commitment to meaningful social change.”
The McCall MacBain Scholarship covers tuition and fees for the program of study, a living stipend of $2,000 per month, mentorship, coaching and leadership development opportunities.
Finalists who are not selected as McCall MacBain Scholars will be eligible for a $10,000 Finalist Award for their studies at McGill.
While the scholarship program is only in its second year of existence, three University of Winnipeg graduates have already distinguished themselves through the selection process. Last year, Josh Swain (BSc’21) was chosen as an inaugural scholar; he began his master’s degree in public health at McGill in September. Chanelle Lajoie (BA’20) and Sophia Hershfield (BA’20) were also named finalists.
The scholarships are the result of a landmark $200 million gift, which at the time was the largest single donation in Canadian history, by John and Marcy McCall MacBain. The scholarship program will expand internationally over the next decade, with nearly 300 McCall MacBain Scholars selected by 2030. Applications for the first global cohort, comprising 20 Canadians and 10 international students, will open in June 2022 for September 2023 admission.