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Marcus Lim, KCS Valedictorian of 2021

Marcus Lim is this year’s valedictorian for Kindersley Composite School. His dedication and drive during his years in high school has paid off tremendously, come fall he will be attending the University of Alberta where he will be completing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry – Honors Program. He is also the recent recipient of the $6000 University of Alberta Gold Standard Scholarship and the $20,000 University of Alberta Chancellor’s Entrance Citation Award.

Even though Marcus’s schedule is jam-packed, he was kind enough to chat with us and share a little about who he is, even including one story about a science experiment gone wrong!

Congratulations Marcus, we have no doubt your family and friends are incredibly proud of you!

My name is Marcus Lim, and I am currently seventeen years old. I was born and raised in the heart of Manila, Philippines for twelve years, and my family immigrated straight to Kindersley after my father got a job opportunity in the area. As a boy who has lived his entire life in a city, it was definitely tough and difficult to adjust to the small-town rural nature of Kindersley. However, it is this exact reason why I have grown to admire this town – I was immediately welcomed and met with kindness by both the community members and my classmates at school as soon as I arrived.  

Since I was little, I have always been known as “the curious kid”. My curiosity manifested itself by always asking questions about why everything in the world happens, such as why minty things like chewing gum or toothpaste make my mouth feel so cold, or why ice melts into water when it has been left sitting at a table for a long time. I believe this inquisitiveness transformed into a great desire to learn chemistry – to study objects’ properties and how they interact with others through experiments.  

Perhaps the most unforgettable chemistry experiment that I have done, is when I attempted to create elephant toothpaste (a mixture of hydrogen peroxide acid and yeast catalyst) inside our house when I was ten. Since the experiment got messy, I ended up spilling hydrogen peroxide everywhere in the kitchen, and out of panic, I unknowingly used my mother’s favourite black blouse to clean it up! Although I did not know back then that hydrogen peroxide can bleach fabric, it has definitely been ingrained in my mind after I witnessed her horrified and furious face when she saw what I had done to her blouse.

Being named valedictorian of Kindersley Composite School’s Class of 2021 is such an honour. KCS has helped me figure out my own strengths and weaknesses by granting me the opportunity to participate in various extra-curriculars, such as the Student Leadership Council, as well as the Badminton and Boys’ Volleyball teams. This year, I have participated in two major design projects at school – designing the yearbook cover, as well as designing the grad hoodies for our class with the help of my fellow graduate, Jillian Torrens. High school has undoubtedly been a grueling experience for all of us, but it has also played a significant role in shaping our character. The past four years of our lives might not have been all fun and enjoyment due to the amount of work that we had to do, but it has ultimately helped us decide our identity – who we are and what we choose to become as members of society. 

After graduation, I am going to become a full-time student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, in order to work towards a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree with a major in Chemistry. My specific career plan includes being in the healthcare aspect of chemistry. Working at a pharmaceutical company to create and develop new drugs with the purpose of treating various diseases is part of my list, but I would also love to work at a public-sector research center, ensuring that national healthcare provisions are in line with new chemical discoveries. 

My primary goal in pursuing a path in chemistry is to make new discoveries that could help people and serve the greater community. It has always been an aspiration of mine to do my part in saving the environment and making people’s lives much easier to live, even by just a little bit. 

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