Audrey Guo was surprised when she heard she won the Loran Award, but for Audrey’s teachers, peers and friends, this recognition didn’t come as a shock. Audrey, a Grade 12 student at Laurel Heights Secondary School (LHSS) in Waterloo, is described by many as kind, empathetic, a light and a force for good at school and in the wider community.

Audrey recounted the moment when she found out she had been selected as a Loran Scholar.

“I think the first words out of my mouth were ‘you’re joking, right?’,” Audrey said with a laugh. “I think ‘unbelievable’ doesn’t quite cover the suspended, very real disbelief I held. I had to check again and again and again to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.”

Audrey wasn’t dreaming, though – it was real. Now that it’s started to sink in, she shared the impact it has had on their outlook for the future.

“I think that I feel so much more positive and hopeful about the future,” said Audrey. “They believe in me and they want to invest in me. That’s so inspiring.”

Based on what Audrey’s teachers shared, this is a sound investment for the Loran Scholars Foundation. Meghan Kidd is a teacher at Laurel Heights and explained a bit about why she thinks Audrey stood out.

“Audrey’s just like a bright light and I think she leads by example,” said Kidd. “She really focuses on inclusivity and developing other people’s empathy and understanding.”

Kidd, who teaches drama and leads theatre extracurriculars, first worked with Audrey in 2019 for a production of the musical, Matilda. She explained what she saw in Audrey almost immediately: a seemingly endless willingness to support peers and the show, however possible.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Audrey in drama class and drama extracurriculars,” said Kidd. “Audrey played a really significant role in the show itself, and was absolutely incredible working behind the scenes.”

The impact Audrey has made at Laurel Heights is hard to quantify, Kidd explained. From Audrey’s role as co-prime on student council, to their efforts editing and directing virtual theatre performances during the COVID-19 pandemic, there aren’t many students whose experiences weren’t enriched by Audrey.

“I just couldn’t say enough good things about Audrey, and I know that she’s going to do fantastic, whatever path she decides,” said Kidd. “I’m so proud of them.”

Amanda Newhall, also a teacher at Laurel Heights, echoed Kidd’s comments. She shared her amazement at Audrey’s capacity for empathy and their ability to connect with other students.

“Audrey is, as a human being, one of the nicest, kindest and most caring people you will ever meet,” said Newhall.

While you can see these qualities looking at the work Audrey does in the classroom, it is no clearer than when you look at their extracurricular involvement. From band to the Dungeons and Dragons Club to the GSA – it’s hard to find a club or group Audrey’s not a member of.

“I can’t talk about every single club she’s involved with because she does do it all, but that’s because she cares about other people,” said Newhall. “Audrey does every extracurricular imaginable.”

So, what does the future hold for Audrey? In September 2022, she will be attending McGill University in Montreal in the Faculty of Arts program.

“I am an arts driven person. The arts and the humanities are where my passions lie and this is what I want to do with myself,” said Audrey.

Though she will not declare a major in the first year of the program, Audrey does already have an inkling of where she wants to end up.

“Music teacher is the career that I think appeals to me the most right now,” said Audrey.

The ability to help lift students up, and help them to achieve their full potential is something that appeals to Audrey, especially in a subject area like music.

“As corny as it sounds, I do love helping people,” said Audrey.

Audrey’s teachers couldn’t be happier to hear this might be a possibility for her future.

“I would be thrilled to see her go into education,” said Newhall. “We need people like Audrey in this field.”

“There is nothing this world needs more than Audrey Guo as an educator, helping students navigate this very complicated world,” said Kidd.

While this next step brings the mixed emotions of moving away from home, Audrey looks forward to the new experiences and learning that lay ahead.

“The more different ways that you get to see the world, the better overall image you get.”

About the Loran Award

The Loran Award is not a reward for past achievements, but an investment in a young person’s potential future path of high impact. Loran scholars pursue careers in a wide range of areas, readily take on greater responsibilities and share a lifelong commitment to leading with integrity. The Loran Award is valued at approximately $100,000 over four years of undergraduate study.

Read more about the Loran Award.

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