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Harvard bound

A Kelvin High School student is headed to one of America’s most prestigious universities to begin his post-secondary career.

Natea Eshetu Beshada, who is in the school’s International Baccalaureate programme, has earned a scholarship to attend Harvard University this fall.

Natea was also accepted and earned scholarship opportunities at Princeton and the University of Toronto via the Schulich Leader Scholarship (an $80,000 scholarship given to only 50 students across Canada annually). But he eventually chose to attend Harvard on a scholarship that offers almost $100,000 a year in tuition, room and board; he intends to take mathematics and physics.

“I just like to understand how things work,” Natea said. “Ever since I was younger, I was good with numbers, so that helped with things like physics and sciences.

“I’d like to become a theoretical physicist; as a professor, you get to do both research and teaching.”

Natea has already caught the teaching bug, as he volunteers much of his time to tutor his fellow students in physics and math. Part of the IB programme requirements is that students also develop as citizens through volunteer hours and other means.

“I help my physics teacher at lunchtime, tutoring her students. I’ll help people in class, outside of class, people call me or text me for help…I guess I’ve become a 24/7 tutor.”

He has also been involved with Kelvin’s charitable Youth in Philanthropy program.

IB Coordinator and Mathematics Teacher Melani Decelles said Natea is a well-rounded student who pursues excellence.

“Natea has a tremendous sense of balance. It’s not just the academics; he’s very driven in everything that he does and he makes very smart choices. He’s just an amazing student in many, many ways,” Ms. Decelles said.

“I remember meeting Natea and his father at our open houses…they had many questions about the programme. I knew right from there that I wanted this student to come to Kelvin High School…I knew he would bring a lot to Kelvin and this programme.”

For Natea, who had been an upper-echelon student academically while in elementary school, the IB programme was a good fit.

“I came to Kelvin in particular to take the IB programme…in Grade 9 and 10 I bussed an hour-and-a-half each way to come to Kelvin,” Natea said.

Natea, who was born in Ethiopia and has lived in Germany in the past, said he doesn’t have any concerns about moving so far away from home. He attended the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in the summer of 2016, at a camp in Waterloo, ON. Several of the students who attended the camp will be going to Harvard, like Natea, while others are attending MIT, Stanford, Princeton and other top schools.

“That was the longest I’ve ever been away from home, but it was very rewarding,” Natea said. “It’s been a year but I still talk with many of the people I met there.”

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