Across the hardcover of my black leather bounded journal in shimmering gold Times New Roman text are the words, Waterloo Unlimited; and underneath this title, on the bottom right corner of the journal, is the University of Waterloo insignia in the same sparkling font. The book has been with me for over half a year now and is by my side when I need to unleash my thoughts and emotions on paper. Each page is covered with my handwriting – some quickly jotted down with occasional strikethroughs and misspelled words, while others are well thought out, precisely worded, and neatly organized. As I flip through the thin pages, I cannot help but smile as I recollect the unforgettable memories I shared with 49 other extraordinary individuals from across Canada at Waterloo Unlimited. I had a profound experience at the Waterloo Unlimited Design program this year and I urge you all to apply to the program next year. From attending university lectures and expending my creative juices to experiencing campus life and meeting many University of Waterloo students and faculty, I truly believe that Waterloo Unlimited has made me “Unlimited” in many ways.
This year, the University of Waterloo will offer three programs for keen high school students, each with its own individual theme:
-Grade 12 Program, Roadmap to Research, Fall 2009
-Grade 11 Program, Design Theme, March Break 2010
-Grade 10 Program, Vision Theme, May 2010
To apply you will need the following:
1) A transcript – This is for them to see how you do in school. Marks aren't everything, but they still are very important.
2) A teacher reference – Get someone who knows you really well to be your reference. I got my physics teacher who has taught me for over 3 years and knew me through my leadership positions in extracurricular activities. Invite your principle, teacher or guidance counselor to help you write. But never forget, it’s not about who your reference is, it’s what they can write about you.
3) An extracurricular profile – Show them that you have a vibrant life outside of school. What do you outside of class? Whether it's a part-time job or community service in a hospital, write it down!
4) A one-page essay – This is your chance to show the admissions committee that you are passionate, thoughtful and articulate. Write the things you are most passionate about and can convey to the reader that you can add value to the Waterloo Unlimited community. Please remember that they are concerned not only with the substance of your prose, but with your writing style as well.
5) A creative page – The fun part of the application. Show the committee that you are an imaginative person who can think outside of the box. You have one full page to flaunt away your creativity. I have seen so many creative pages, from poetry and creative writing to artwork and photography. Do something that really represents who YOU are as a person.
From meeting with some of the most incredible people across Canada to expanding my interests (and horizons) at the University of Waterloo, the Waterloo Unlimited program offers everything that any high-achieving high school student could ask for and more!
JACKEY CHENG is a senior at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School and a Waterloo Unlimited almunus. Although he is most passionate about the sciences, he joined Impact in 2009 after realizing the ubiquitous presence entrepreneurship will have on his career path. As of now, Jackey manages the Impact Awards program as director, and diligently searches Canada for the nation’s Top 25 Youth Entrepreneurs! He is also the 2009 National Biology Scholar, a Shad MUN alumnus and the middle-child of his family.