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Bishop Tonnos’ Michael Fedotov awarded over $120K in scholarship funding

In 10 years, Michael Fedotov hopes to start a software company.

Currently, the Grade 12 Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School student runs his own video game business where he resells used video games and consoles for a profit. He also manages his own YouTube channel, “Easy Science,” that focuses on exposing viewers to STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) topics for the purpose of education.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

For the last four years, Fedotov has kept busy heading up a coding club and participating in math clubs, DECA competitions, robotics, hackathons, and STEM contests.

He’s even managed to find time to volunteer at his local community garden, hold a part time job and play volleyball, badminton and football at the school level.

Again, he’s only in Grade 12.

Even during lockdown, Fedotov used his extra time to practice his programming skills in the python language through self-directed learning using online resources.

“I was able to apply my skills in python to the real world by developing a sudoku puzzle game, which I released publicly,” he said.

With an extensive resume that spans six pages, he is adding one more accomplishment to the list: Schulich Leader Scholarship recipient.

Established by Canadian philanthropist Seymour Schulich in 2012, Schulich Leaders is a $100-million entrance scholarship program for students entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math undergraduate programs at participating universities in Canada. The program ensures that Canada’s top minds entering STEM disciplines will become the next generation of technology innovators.

Dubbed “Canada’s Most Coveted Scholarship,” Fedotov was one of 100 recipients to receive the award, out of a pool of over 1,500 interested applicants.

His Schulich Leader Scholarship, valued at $100K, along with a Faculty of Engineering Entrance Award, McMaster Award of Excellence and Engineering Research Experience Award totaling $21K, will see Fedotov attend the post-secondary institution this fall for Computer Science.

“I was left speechless,” said Fedotov, recalling when he received the news.

Describing it as one of the best days of his life, Fedotov expressed deep gratitude for the guidance and support of the Bishop Tonnos staff over his four-year academic career.

One of those mentors, Teacher Advisor for BT’s DECA Chapter and Robotics Team, Gelsie Riverso-Casella, said working with Fedotov is a pleasure, noting that his “strategic and critical thinking skills are very impressive.”

“He does not shy from a challenge. He shows both confidence and determination in his work. His respectful and calm demeanor even when in a stressful situation will make him a great professional for tomorrow.”

With no shortage of praise, Bishop Tonnos Mathematics Department Head Anna Barry added that Fedotov is an “exceptional student leader” whose “ability to think creatively when challenged to solve complex problem highlights his drive to always go a step beyond.”

The scholarships will allow Fedotov to continue to do just that.

“By providing financial assistance, the Schulich Leaders Scholarship will create an environment for my success during my study at McMaster University,” he said. “I will be able to achieve my full potential by developing my leadership skills and taking opportunities that are offered through the Schulich Leaders Scholarship.”

“The scholarship will also help me advance to my goal of creating a software start-up by providing leadership opportunities for me to develop professionally in the field of computer science.”

Fedotov is the first nominee to win a Schulich Leader Scholarship at Bishop Tonnos.

Bishop Tonnos’ Michael Fedotov awarded over $120K in scholarship funding