Jay Boll has received one of the most prestigious awards given to high school students pursuing post-secondary. He will be receiving the University of British Columbia Centennial Scholars Entrance Scholarship. This award is given to students who demonstrate high academic ability, extraordinary community service, and leadership and has overcome unique obstacles in life. The value of the award ranges from $1,000 to $80,000 and Jay has qualified for the full $80,000.
Jay is a student at 33 Central School in Fillmore. He is an immigrant from Hong Kong, and his family has resided in Fillmore since he was five years old. His father is Kevin Boll, who used to farm land south of Creelman.
“Since I was little, I have tried my best to be involved in everything within the community,” said Jay. This included minor sports, school sports, community events and other activities. “Further to this, I used to do Martial Arts with Vilcu’s Karate in Weyburn and then later on in Regina, and was actually a many-time provincial champion in my division, as well as a world champion at one time.”
“In recent years, I have been a part of RBC Future Launch, which is an initiative that is available for Grade 11 and 12 students in our community that promotes volunteerism and community service,” said Jay. “We have monthly meetings in which we learn about a plethora of applicable life skills, such as writing a resume, acing a job interview, or building your credit.”
“Probably the highlight of this endeavour would be when a few of my friends and I went to the local care home and did some window painting and visiting through the glass with some of the residents. I think this impacted them by bringing positivity to their day, as that was in the heat of the COVID lockdowns,” said Jay. “We were featured nationally last spring by RBC through randomactsofcanadian.com, for this, but recognition has never been the reason I do the things that I do.
“Another highlight of my high school experience was being nominated by my principal, Kylee Carver, and then subsequently being chosen as 1 of 12 student leaders from all around the province to be on the Government of Saskatchewan’s Youth Council. We work with the Ministry of Education to advocate for our peers, as well as present fresh ideas to improve education now, and in the future.”
Attending the University of British Columbia has been “my dream school for as long as I can remember,” said Jay. “It’s a top-three university in Canada, and Vancouver is absolutely stunning. But prestige and beauty come hand in hand with cost, so I always knew I would need some financial assistance to attend.”
“I was accepted to the University of Alberta with a few scholarships, I was sure that I’d be going to Edmonton in the fall. However, when I got the call from the UBC notifying me that I was chosen as a recipient of the Centennial Scholars Entrance Award valued at $80,000, I was left absolutely speechless,” said Jay.
“It was a surreal feeling to know that my dream had been realized, and I could not thank UBC enough. The local RBC’s Branch Manager, Lisa Kalberg, was my reference for this award, so without her I couldn’t have received this generous endowment. And further to that, Future Launch and its organizer, Jenna Wasylkowski, has taught me so much about things like how to present myself in a manner that makes others believe in me. There are so many people who have helped me achieve this that I simply can’t shout everyone out. But without a doubt, the biggest mention must go to my dad. He has always encouraged me to not just participate, but to work hard enough to be the best. He has sacrificed, endured, and supported me in anything that I have ever done, and that is a debt I will never be able to repay. I’ll be studying Engineering, with hopes to specialize in Computer Engineering starting Year 2.”
The Centennial Scholars are an elite group at UBC. They are heavily involved in campus life and will get to experience many prestigious events during their post secondary years.
“Aside from the academic challenge, I am excited to be a part of the community at UBC. I’ll be living on-campus during my first year, and I hope that I can contribute my time and energy to things such as volunteering, clubs, and other student organizations,” said Jay. “Also, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to live on the coast. It’ll be a nice change of scenery, given the mountains and ocean views.”