A collage of the four Best School Year Ever finalists for 2023

Meet the four bright and talented students who we are proud to unveil as the finalists of The Best School Year Ever scholarship contest.

All four of these students are smart and passionate, and each one will be an amazing addition to the St. Michaels University School community.

"The submissions this year were excellent and we had a huge pool of amazing students who entered the contest," says Michael Drew, Assistant Director of Admissions. "It was very hard narrowing down the finalists, but we're extremely excited about the prospect of all four of these students joining us."

The finalists for the 2023-24 contest are:

Gautam Jay – Gautam’s family came to Canada from southern India and he has lived in several places in Canada but now calls Lac La Biche, Alberta home. The judges were impressed with Gautam’s achievements in academics, athletics, the outdoors and commitment to service and leadership. Gautam has a strong sense of empathy and community spirit that he demonstrated by cutting off his hair as part of an initiative to remove the stigma of cancer hair loss. 

Alfie Smith – The youngest of our finalists, Alfie’s interest and practical pursuits of volunteerism, history, and economics impressed the judges. A dedicated rower and accomplished sailor, Alfie has won a number of races in the highly competitive sailing world of San Francisco’s Bay Area. This dedicated student demonstrated their commitment to education, as the judges were impressed by the fact that Alfie bikes 22 km back and forth to school each day!

Eden Williams – Hailing from Seattle, Eden is a socially conscious student with a wide array of interests in the realms of academics, athletics, music, French language and culture. In fact, Eden has performed in a number of musical ensembles, and competed in the Washington State University music contest. The judges were especially impressed with Eden’s energy if not her unique sense of humour! 

Sora York – A talented artist and musician, Sora is an academic high achiever with remarkable and admirable post-secondary aspirations. Joining us from the Okanagan valley, Sora takes advantage of her natural surroundings and is very interested in rowing. Sora impressed the judges with her fortitude and risk-taking by performing improvisational jazz for a variety of audiences.  

Two of the four finalists will win a full-year boarding scholarship worth up to $68,000 each, and the remaining two finalists will each win a scholarship worth up to $45,000.

All four students and their families will visit SMUS in early March before the winners are announced on March 14.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring the families back to SMUS after a couple years of not being able to," Michael says. "The campus visit is so important for the students to get a sense of what studying and living here is like, and to get a feel for being part of our community. It also allows us to see them interact with their future classmates and teachers, and see the enthusiasm and positivity that they will bring to our community."