St. Michaels University School Grade 12 student Keiler Totz is one of two Canadians this year to earn a $150

Student earns full-ride to Cambridge

Keiler Totz is one of two high school students in the country selected for a $150,000 Blyth Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship.

A Saanich teenager has proven himself as one of Canada’s highest achieving students and has earned a place at the University of Cambridge on a full scholarship.

Keiler Totz, a Grade 12 student at St. Michaels University School is one of two high school students in the country selected for a $150,000 Blyth Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship.

He received the news earlier this month after having completed a rigorous application process, which culminated in an intense interview last November in Toronto before a panel of judges, including the head of admissions for the highly-regarded U.K. university. By the time he knew he had risen to the top of the 34 students shortlisted nationally, he was sold on the experience abroad.

“The more, and more I learned about the Cambridge environment, the more I knew it would be the right place,” Keiler said. “I’ve always been really academically driven, studied really hard and trying to get the best grades and learn enough as possible. It looks absolutely amazing.”

Keiler hopes to enter the field of engineering, then biomedical engineering, ultimately ending with a career as a research scientist, although still 17, his plans could change.

“I always thought he’d be getting an athletic scholarship,” remarked Keiler’s mother, Suzanne. “It’s one of the most prestigious (scholarships) there is, almost like a needle in a haystack.”

Keiler attributes his love for physics to his teacher, Richard Curry, himself a University of Cambridge alumnus. Curry, also St. Michaels’ rowing coach, has encouraged Keiler to trade in his basketball for a seat in a skull.

Keiler hasn’t spent too much time contemplating his academic career, however, instead participating in soccer, regularly volunteering at the Royal Jubliee Hospital and completing 11 advanced placement courses prior to graduation, including a first-year math course at the University of Victoria.

Keiler also spent last summer conducting cancer research on an internship with the B.C. Cancer Agency. He worked on staining tumour tissues.

“You’re just thrown in there and expected to work, but once you get the grasp of the lab, it’s an amazing feeling,” Keiler said.

Keiler’s father Karlheinz has watched his son excel academically throughout life – including picking up Mandarin while the family lived in Singapore – and doesn’t describe the scholarship as much of a surprise.

“There were two in all of Canada chosen for his age, so that shows that the child is quite bright,” he said.

Keiler was featured in the News in 2011 when he attended Deep River Science Academy at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories in Ontario.

As the only student from Greater Victoria admitted at the time, he worked on a remote control vehicle to measure ambient radiation levels and record internal visual conditions inside buildings slated to be decommissioned. He hopes to return to the academy this summer as a tutor, a role his mom once held during her first year of university.

“He’s absolutely in heaven right now,” Suzanne said.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Mount Douglas Secondary named top STEM school in provincial competition

Team of Grade 10 students wins first place overall and Best Engineering Design award

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

VicPD seek missing 82-year-old man with long grey beard

Arthur Shaw was last seen Dec. 6, those who see him should call 911

Oak Bay Police melt dozens of guns into metal cube

Set of rare dueling muskets could go to museum

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

Most Read