Meet UCC’s Morehead-Cain scholar

In conversation with Kene Ochuba '21, who is heading to the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill this fall, the recipient of a prestigious four-year Morehead-Cain scholarship for students of the highest calibre.
How did you hear about the Morehead-Cain?

UCC’s university counsellors get the word out to all Year 12 students about great opportunities like this.
How are the scholars chosen?

The scholarship is based on leadership, character, scholarship and physical activity. Once I completed my application, I was invited for an online interview. I was chosen as a finalist and spent a full weekend doing online activities with the other finalists, including a group interview and a panel interview.

How did you demonstrate the traits above to the scholarship committee?

I’m involved in many activities at UCC. I’ve been in the DECA club since Year 9 and was president last year when we won awards regionally and provincially. I played trumpet in the wind ensemble and the band. I’ve been active in Model UN — I chaired in our local conference in Year 10, and won both a personal and a team award at the McGill and Harvard competitions last year.

As the elected community service steward for our student government, I head the school's clubs advisory committee and community service council. This year, I organized the Clubs Fair, converting it to a virtual format for the first time ever. 

I lead the committee that oversees the International Baccalaureate (IB) community service requirement. I've done more than 200 hours of community service myself. I’m also a tri-sport athlete, and I’ve worked as a student assistant in the Wilder library. 

Outside of school, a friend and I have created some technology startups. We’re currently building a platform using JavaScript. 

During the summer, I work as a soccer referee. It’s really fun being outside with all the kids. I’ve also worked at a waterpark as a team lead, which taught me a lot about responsibility and my capabilities. 

Tell us more about this scholarship.

The program has advisers who help you plan your studies, and there are summer experiences each year. I'm going on an Outward Bound kayaking and hiking trip in Washington’s San Juan Islands this summer; I'm training now so I'll be fit, and I'm excited for it. 

During our second summer, the scholars have a global experience and in the third summer, there's a civic collaboration program where we help North American communities. And there’s a professional internship in the final summer that’s a springboard to life post-graduation.

There's also mentorship, funding to do research or explore an interest, and a strong alumni network. You’re a Morehead-Cain scholar for the rest of your life.

What do you plan to study?

I'm entrepreneurial, so I'm thinking about a major in computer science and incorporating business and economics into my studies.

Will you mind being so far from home?

As a boarder at UCC, I've learned a lot about being independent and expect to adjust well. But it will certainly be different being in another country hundreds of miles away!
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