Celebrating a Big Achievement for Greenwood Newcomer

Tihmily Li, Communications Officer
As a guidance counsellor at Greenwood, Michelle Leiter has had her share of joyous moments when an advisee gets into their dream postsecondary program. Earlier this month, she had another happy occasion to celebrate – when representatives from Huron at Western University called to let her know that her advisee Lauren Kohler ‘24 was one of the recipients of the highly prestigious Huron’s Hellmuth Scholarship. 

Each year, Huron only provides 10 Hellmuth scholarships out of the many applicants they receive. The scholarship is presented to incoming students who have a 90% average, have an exceptional extracurricular or community service record and demonstrate a passion for leadership, volunteering, arts or athletics. Applicants also require a nomination from their school in order to apply. This year, Lauren would be one of the lucky 10 out of the 150 applicants. 

Ms. Leiter phoned Lauren’s parents Tiffany Tan and Matt Kohler to let them know the good news. Mr. Kohler was about to board a plane when he received the news and exclaimed, “Wow, I just can’t believe it!” Ms. Leiter then devised a surprise for Lauren as Huron University wanted to present Lauren her scholarship in person.

On February 6, Ms. Leiter asked Lauren for an update on her Winter OE trip to Costa Rica. As the two frequently chatted in Greenwood’s halls, Lauren didn’t think much of the request. What was strange was the fact that Ms. Leiter was leading Lauren towards the Principal’s Office where her mother and brother along with the provost and dean of Huron University, the recruitment specialist of Huron University, Heather Thomas and Sarah Bruce were waiting for her. 

The surprise was indeed quite worth the secrecy! Lauren’s confusion turned to disbelief then to joy when the provost introduced himself and presented her with the scholarship. She then rushed to hug her mother and brother after receiving the scholarship. In addition to the scholarship, the representatives also presented Lauren with an engraved pendant necklace. 

“Huron was always a top choice for me so I was looking for more information on their website and found the scholarship,” explains Lauren. “Then Ms. Herod also posted about the scholarship in Week @ A Glance, which provided more details about the school nomination portion.”

Lauren approached Ms. Leiter to begin the school nomination. Once that portion was accepted by Huron University, she had to reach out to a teacher for a reference letter, provide five 300-word responses and a supplementary essay as the first round of the application process. After making it through that round, Lauren then needed to provide a pre-recorded video response to several prompts. 

“I’m absolutely thrilled for her,” says Ms. Leiter. “To see how surprised she was, it was great. She just joined Greenwood this year and she has fit in pretty seamlessly. Lauren joined the Grade 11 Leadership Day back in June 2023, talked to last year’s Grade 12s and met with the Admissions team to go over her schedule.”

“I don’t think I would have applied for the scholarship if it wasn’t for Greenwood,” says Lauren. “The brand new social settings can be daunting but Greenwood is very welcoming. I’m glad to be here for my final year of high school where the overall culture values you as a whole rather than only for academics.”

In speaking about her co-curricular activities that she wrote about in her application, Lauren adds, “This is a huge incentive and honour to be recognized for extracurriculars and other ventures. I’ll definitely continue with them, like cheerleading or initiating social affairs, in the future.”

“Thanks again to the entire staff at Greenwood for all the support throughout,” says Ms. Tan. “Ms. Leiter especially was so communicative (and cleverly surreptitious!) We are so appreciative and feel so lucky to have both our kids at the school.”
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  • Darrell Tan
    Congratulations again Lauren! Our whole family is so incredibly proud of you. You are an inspiration to the people around you, and an amazing role model for your cousin Sebastian who is so happy to be following in your and Mason’s footsteps as a Greenwood student!
  • Michelle Tan
    We are so proud of you, Lauren! Greenwood is a fabulous school and the perfect place for you.!

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