Meet a Heritage Hero: Sean Leonard

Meet Sean, one of our Heritage Heroes. Sean is a third-year medical student at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s. He was the proud recipient of the Dr. Leslie Harris Memorial Scholarship and the Lou Visentin Award for academic achievement during his undergraduate career. He was also Vice-President of MUN’s Biochemistry Society and contributed countless hours to the Let’s Talk Science Outreach Program. Sean hopes that one day he can give back to his community by becoming a pediatrician and helping children.

Sean answered a few of our Heritage Heroes questions…



I believe that education is one of the greatest gifts that a parent could give a child. My parents have always told me that, no matter what, they were going to do their best to make sure I managed to get a university degree. Because of their guidance, encouragement, financial contributions, as well as my own hard work and achievements, I have managed to accomplish much more than that already!


“Because of the combination of my undergraduate scholarship and my Heritage RESP, I am on track to graduate med school with substantially less debt than some of my colleagues – a removal of a burden which makes navigating the next couple years of my schooling far more comfortable. The financial freedom an RESP bestows upon its recipient will help to catalyze that individual’s success and will surely contribute to a more stress-free educational experience.”



“One of my biggest challenges to date was getting into Med School, as it was not so much one challenge, rather an exciting road full of obstacles and opportunities. This road involved maintaining competitive grades, preparing for the MCAT, developing myself personally in order to perform well in an interview setting as well as bolstering my time management skills.”


“One of my most influential mentors to date was definitely my high school French and History teacher, as he pushed me not only to help me realize my potential, but to challenge myself and to keep dreaming larger. In my grade 12 year I decided I wanted to be as impulsive as possible and take on any opportunities that came my way. One of these was the Canadian Parents for French National French Speak-Off Competition. Mr. Newhook not only helped me craft my speech, but rehearsed with me, gave me tips, encouraged me and helped me develop public speaking skills of which I am still proud. With his support that year, I managed to win at Regionals, Provincials and then go on to win nationally (in the early French immersion division). Because of his encouragement and the confidence he instilled in me in high school, I have since gone on to pursue other challenging – yet very rewarding – opportunities such as getting accepted into the Killam Fellowship Exchange Program and spending the last semester of my undergraduate career at Arizona State University. From my experience, pushing yourself certainly pays off!”

Thanks to Sean for his participation and for being one of our Heritage Heroes. We can’t wait to see where his future endeavours take him.

To see more Heritage Heroes stories, click here.