March 3rd, 2021 ~ Vol. 91 No. 9
Local student raising the academic bar
Cole Tkachuk from Livingstone School accepted to unique program
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor photo
Cole Tkachuk has received a once in a lifetime opportunity. Tkachuk applied to the United Worlds College, a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures helping create peace and a sustainable future. Tkachuk will now spend two years at one of the 18 colleges of UWC.
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
Livingstone School student Cole Tkachuk has received an amazing opportunity.

After applying to the United Worlds College, a global education movement that makes education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures helping create peace and a sustainable future, Tkachuk learned that he was accepted.

"It's building almost a second family for people to help future global relations," said Tkachuk.

The interest first came after having some family friends go through the program.

"I've had a couple of friends go through the program and it's always been something I've known about and something that's been interesting to me. I never really thought I would go through with it until about a year or two ago when I did a little more research on it and found it really interesting. From there I decided to look into it more and ask a few more people about it that knew more and went from there."

It wasn't a straightforward application process for Tkachuk.
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"The first phase of the applications is filling out a form. It happens through the website and you're asked a bunch of different questions about yourself regarding why you want to do it, what does it mean to you and other questions about yourself personally."

Tkachuk says the amount of applicants isn't disclosed but he says it's somewhere in the thousands.

The next step is a review process.

"A national committee reviews all the applications and selects about 25 people to have an interview. It takes about two or three months for them to go through all the applications and select the people for the interview. From there it's about an hour long interview process with two separate panels. They ask a lot of stuff about you and some of it is similar to the questions on the form. Once the interview is done it's a waiting game to see if you get in."

The next steps for Tkachuk are figuring out where he will be going.

UWC has 18 schools and colleges on four different continents.

"I filled out a preference list of where I would like to go and essentially where I would not be able to accept an offer from. I'm still waiting to see where I end up going. In the end, they make the decision. I don't choose where I go. They try and select what the best fit for a person would be."
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Tkachuk said there was one place that topped his list of potential destinations.

"There's about 14 schools that I was allowed to choose from. My first choice was the UWC school in Germany. That would be my first choice but I'm not guaranteed to go there. Most kids end up going to the UWC school in Victoria, BC based on geographics."
This opportunity is a great one for Tkachuk.

"This is a gateway for me from high school learning and essentially streamlines directly to post secondary. It opens up a lot of doors for any kind of field I would want to study in the future as well as building more relations internationally with other people."

For Tkachuk, it's a huge honour to have been selected.

"It means everything to me. I was honoured to be selected and honestly kind of surprised. I wasn't too sure if I would get in or not. This changed the entire course of where I'm going in life because before I was just planning on graduating high school and then going into some sort of post secondary but that's totally been flipped around now because I'm taking a two-year study somewhere completely out of the province at the very least. I don't know honestly what will happen after that."

For Tkachuk's parents, it's also a proud moment.

"We're proud of him. Every parent knows a lot of work goes into this. It's nice to see some exceptional results. It's a doorway and you hope that he takes full advantage of it because it's a pretty unique opportunity. It's entirely paid for and it's just little old him from little old here in the middle of nowhere. That's quite a distinguished thing. It's pretty neat," said dad Rob.

Tkachuk says he encourages anyone thinking about this program to take the leap and apply.

"If anybody else is ever thinking about applying there's no reason not to. These kinds of opportunities are out there and the best thing I can say is just put yourself out there and take these opportunities because you never know what can happen."
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March 3rd, 2021 ~ Vol. 91 No. 9
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