A medical student from Kelowna will join one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions after being named a Rhodes Scholar.
Jesse Lafontaine is one of 11 Canadians who will travel to the University of Oxford in October 2022 to join a class of over 100 academics from around the world to continue their studies on one of the most prestigious campuses in the world. .
Lafontaine, a Kelowna High School graduate, is currently a second year medical student at the University of Alberta. Previously, he had obtained a Bachelor of Science with Honors, specializing in Chemistry. He plans to pursue a Masters in Public Policy and a Masters of Science in Translational Health Sciences at Oxford.
“My education in Kelowna helped lay the foundation for success and inspired my passion for pursuing higher education,” said Lafontaine. “I am truly grateful to everyone who has been a part of my team throughout the process and I am delighted with the next steps on my journey. “
Son of David, who works for the Vernon School District, and Kathryn, a teacher from the central Okanagan, Lafontaine is a member of the Métis Nation and the Kelowna Métis Association and is passionate about equitable health care for children. Indigenous Peoples. He is President of the University of Alberta Medical Students’ Association and co-founder of the Native Medical Students Association of Canada, and is committed to increasing Indigenous representation in health fields.
Lafontaine hopes to pursue a career that combines his interest in Indigenous health with his leadership and policy development skills.
“Sir. Lafontaine’s academic success and dedication to equitable health care for Indigenous peoples inspires our entire district, so we offer both our congratulations on this rare honor and our gratitude,” said Kevin Kaardal, Superintendent of Central Okanagan School District. “Our goal is to enable students to thrive as global citizens, and Jesse Lafontaine is a shining example of someone whose commitment and humanity will surely make a difference in our world. . “
The Rhodes Fellows were selected through a highly competitive process administered by six regional committees. The process included a careful review of applications, followed by a high-profile final interview.
“This year’s class reflects the incredible diversity, prodigious talent and deep humanity that Canada has to offer,” said Richard Pan, Canadian Secretary of the Rhodes Trust and Chair of the Rhodes Scholarships in Canada. “Our researchers deeply impressed the committees with their accomplishments, their passion and, above all, their sense of responsibility towards the community around them. We look forward to supporting our researchers on the exciting journey ahead. “
“We are proud that academics come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have achieved remarkable achievements in a wide range of fields,” said Elizabeth Kiss, Director of the Rhodes Trust. “It is this diversity of origin and thought that makes our community special. What unites them is their curiosity, their character, their academic excellence and their desire to make a difference.