At 15, Carolina Romeo started university, made the varsity field hockey team, and was awarded one of the most prestigious renewable scholarships on campus
The way Carolina Romeo, BSc (Eng)’13, tells it, her unique journey from precocious high schooler to successful engineer and passionate donor is no big deal. Contrary to her humble, understated delivery, however, Romeo’s story is nothing short of inspiring — both to students and to the wider community.
When she was part of the way through Grade 11, Romeo, who had skipped a couple of grades in junior high, set aside plans to become a pastry chef and instead set her sights on the Schulich School of Engineering. “I started to like the idea of designing things and solving problems, pushing limits to see how far I might go — it seemed like a great fit for me,” she says.
Still, driven and focused as she was, an engineering degree seemed like a long shot; not only was Romeo — just 15 at her high school graduation — young for such a challenging program, but her family, who had immigrated to Calgary from Argentina, didn’t have the means to cover her university tuition.
Unfazed, Romeo applied for, and received, UCalgary’s Chancellor’s Club Scholarship — an award that reinforced her confidence as a student and largely eliminated financial stress. As well, she says, the scholarship allowed her time and support to pursue her other passion: varsity field hockey.
“I wanted to balance sport and education, and I looked around at other universities,” Romeo says. “UCalgary was definitely the best fit, made even more possible by that fabulous scholarship.”
The Chancellor’s Scholarship — funded by Chancellor’s Circle donors — is unique in that it brings together up to ten recipients from across all disciplines every year. That small cohort gets to connect with the chancellor — in Romeo’s case, it was Joanne Cuthbertson, BEd’73, Hon. LLD’11 — who spends time with the students and facilitates their introduction to faculty members and community mentors. “Being part of that special group put me in touch with people in my field, as well as with these other students who were as passionate and driven as I was, but who had other interests and ambitions,” says Romeo.
The Chancellor’s Scholarship had such a positive impact on my life — it was a huge factor in helping me be able to get through school, and I want to make sure other students get the same experience I had.
Carolina Romeo, BSc (Eng)’13
Chancellor's Circle member and former Chancellor's Scholar
Still under 30, Romeo is currently a logistics operations team lead for Shell Canada — work she is deeply passionate about (though her family still ribs her for not taking up pastry-making). The impact of her scholarship was so strong, however, that, as soon as she was able, she leapt to pay it forward by becoming a member of the Chancellor’s Circle and donating in support of the scholarship. “The Chancellor’s Circle had such a positive impact on my life — it was a huge factor in helping me be able to get through school, and I want to make sure other students get the same experience I had,” Romeo says.
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What Your Giving Gives Me
Not only did being a winning recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholarship grant me the privilege to move forward with my studies, it also gave me the confidence to realize I can achieve anything I set my mind to with some hard work and dedication. That is paramount as I plan to pursue a career in the medical realm, which I know will definitely prove trying at times. The scholarship will serve as a constant reminder of my potential.
First-year Chancellor’s Scholar