Morell Regional High School student in the running for major scholarship based on character, service and leadership potential
Morell Regional High School student in the running for major scholarship based on character, service and leadership potential.
Some are said to have milliondollar personalities.
Shane Pendergast would be thrilled if his make-up is soon valued at one-tenth that amount.
The 17-year-old Morell Regional High School student is the lone P.E.I. candidate among 80 finalists across Canada vying for a prestigious and lucrative scholarship.
Pendergast was chosen based on evidence of character, service and leadership potential from an initial pool of 4,200 applicants seeking selection as a Loran Scholar.
Founded in 1988, the Loran Scholars Foundation is a national charity that partners with 25 universities to invest in exceptional young Canadians.
By all accounts, Pendergast is nothing short of exceptional.
He simply embraces life both in and out of school with passion, care, success and humility.
Ian Coffin, a teacher at Morell Regional, says Pendergast is fully engaged in all that he tackles.
“Shane strives for excellence in his school work, often going beyond the guidelines to produce creative (and memorable) pieces,” Coffin wrote in the reference letter included in the student’s application for the scholarship.
“His love of and interest in his community is refreshing.” Shane’s reach is wide. He plays basketball and coaches the sport.
Strumming guitar, he is the youngest member of the St. Bonaventure’s Roman Catholic Church Choir in his community of Tracadie Cross.
He is on the student council. He is part of the prom committee. He promotes safety in the school.
In addition to basketball, he plays soccer and badminton and hopes to again find time in his crazily busy schedule to return to track and field.
“I have a wide variety of interests,’’ he says.
“I want to feel fulfilled in everything I do .... I get interested in things so easily.’’
Morell Marlins basketball coach Tyler Read gushes over both the skill and character his basketball star Pendergast exhibits all the time.
Says Read: “He’s a great leader. He’s a quiet leader. He doesn’t lose his cool whatsoever ... he just quietly takes care of business.’’
Read says Pendergast impresses both on and off the court. He describes the teen as the very definition of a balanced student.
“He doesn’t have any ego,’’ he says.
“He’s very modest. He gives everyone the time of day. He’s very mature.’’
Pendergast attributes being well-grounded to positive influence from his grandparents and his parents: Michael, a wellknown local musician, and Carolyn, a teacher and librarian at Morell Regional.
He says his parents taught him the importance of respect and inclusion.
“You have to be on the same page,’’ he says. “You can’t be selfish.’’
Pendergast will be attending the national Loran Scholar selections in Toronto early in February.
He says a major scholarship would “be amazing’’ in helping finance film study.
Pendergast made his first film, a James Bond spoof, while in Grade 5. He relishes the nervousness he felt just before the short film was played in the school.
Since then, he has posted about 10 of his short films on YouTube.
He also made a moving Remembrance Day video last year, drawing on an audio recording of a veteran describing what it was like in the trenches.
Pendergast notes in his genuine modest fashion that he cannot really prepare for the upcoming interviews that could land him up to $100,000 in scholarship money.
“All I can do is be who I am and if they like me, they’ll pick me,’’ he says.
Shane Pendergast of Tracadie Cross is in the running for a scholarship worth up to $100,000. He says the scholarship would “be amazing” in his desire to study film at a top university.