Former local SDSS student receives prestigious scholarship award

Wilfrid Laurier University is one of the top universities in Waterloo, Canada and has been known for academic excellence along with a dedication to the philosophy that its student success is measured through more than grades – it’s based on the quality of the lives they lead, and those they inspire.

The Scholars Award program is Laurier’s most prestigious entrance scholarship. The program supports high-achieving students in their studies and career development through mentorship, experiential learning opportunities and community engagement.

Only one incoming undergraduate student from each faculty is chosen per year to qualify for the prestigious award. Students must have a final admission average of 90% or higher and must have demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities and accomplishments.

Saugeen District Senior School (SDSS) student Cydney Morris, an accomplished music student in Saugeen Shores, has received a prestigious scholarship.

Morris has volunteered extensively with youth and religious groups, schools, health and childcare centres, and non-profit organizations. She has also held leadership roles focused on diversity, inclusion, accessibility and fostering youth leadership serving as an ambassador for Rotary and Hugh O’Brian Youth Canada leadership conferences and has since held executive positions.

Among the honours she has received are the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award for Students, Rotary’s Service-Above-Self Award and the Principal’s Leadership Award from Saugeen District Senior School.

    Saugeen Shores Mayor presents award to                          Cydney Morris (2019)

In addition, in 2019, she received a prestigious musical scholarship, a Certificate of Recognition from Saugeen Shores Mayor and was only one of two recipients in Ontario to receive the Earle Terry Scholarship in Voice.

Beyond the Laurier scholarships, students join a supportive community of scholars. Each Scholar is paired with two mentors – a senior student in their faculty and a faculty member in the same department or with similar interests.


They also participate in:

  • Scholars’ Colloquium: regular meetings for scholars focused on academic skills development and enrichment, with guest faculty members, librarians and academic support staff.
  • Leadership Development Projects: a community service initiative, international project or exchange, or community-oriented course or conference of the student’s choosing.
  • Annual Scholars’ Conference: students share their work with their peers, mentors, and the larger community.

Scholars receive $40,000 for their degree, with $7,500 per year for up to four years and $10,000 for an experiential learning opportunity such as a summer research assistantship, international exchange or other hands-on learning opportunity.

In her first year of University, Morris entered the Bachelor of Music program and then switched disciplines due to health conditions.  “Kimberly Barber, professor of voice and associate dean of External Affairs, Partnerships and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Music, is one of the reasons I chose Laurier,” says Morris. “The most important piece I have learned from her is to always trust myself and prioritize my well-being and the rest will fall into place. I have learned so much from her that I will continue to take with me throughout my life.”

Today, following her undergraduate degree, Morris is planning to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy with a specialty in pediatric care. “I hope, one day, to work in a specialized clinic and eventually open my own pediatric practice.”