Interview with Alexandru Manta, 2012 Student Grant winner
– What prompted to apply to this school?
-I was always interested in medicine and health sciences so I decided apply to this competitive program at McMaster that my chemistry teacher told me about. When I heard that only 3% of applicants get in a year, I did not have much hope. But with the motivation provided by my family and friends, I worked tirelessly in grade 12 and managed to get accepted.
– How was your first year?
-First year was amazing. The courses, the atmosphere and the friends I made, left me with memories that I will never forget. Yes at times it was hard but I was surrounded by amazing people who helped me through it. Looking back at my first year, I have no regrets and I am looking forward to continuing my education.
– What courses did you take, major and minor?
-I took a lot of interesting science courses. This included cellular and molecular biology, psychobiology, chemistry and biochemistry. I am planning on majoring in health sciences and hoping to continue into medical school. I am also planning on minoring in math; I was inspired by my grade 12 Romanian math teacher, Mrs. Gugiou who taught me great things both in and outside the classroom.
– Did you play any sports?
-I have always been a huge soccer fan and I have my dad to thank for that. Soccer is more than a passion of mine; it is a part of my life and who I am. I played at the provincial level for years and recently I have made a semi-professional team. My goal is to continue to play soccer for as long as possible and even incorporate it into what I do when I am older.
– Did you discover any new challenges? New friends, hobbies, volunteered, etc.
-Yes this year was full of self-growth and discovery. For the first time I was on my own and although it was hard at the beginning, I persevered through it and made some life-long friends. My main hobbies are sports and exercise and I have volunteered at my old high school as a way of giving back and thanking them.
– How was the ORCA grant used?
-Economically the grant helped me with school, tuition, text books but more importantly it gave me the freedom to go out and explore my options without financial hardships holding me back. It allowed me to meet many professors and worked under their guidance as oppose to worrying about payments.
– Would Alex consider being a member of ORCA Youth?
-Of course, ORCA has helped me so much and I would love to get more involved.
Interview by Veronica Siretanu.