Gillian Apps Created Her Own Path

Gillian Apps

Have you ever thought about attending a college or university in a different country? About what opportunities those schools might bring to the table? About what path you might go down? 

At the recent PrepSkills event April 20  at Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto, high school student athletes were able to visit with staff from the different American schools that were attending the event. 

PrepSkills is an organization built to help Canadian students with their SSAT and SAT preparation as they seek admission to private and/or independent schools as well as U.S. colleges and universities. 

Former athletes such as Julian Jenkins and Gillian Mary Apps were speakers at the event. 

“Sports can be a great feature to drive your education,” said Jenkins, a former football player at Stanford, and currently the senior director of regional recruiting at NCSA. “Even if it’s not necessarily at your dream school, how bad do you want to be in sports?” 

Apps, the granddaughter of Toronto Maple Leafs legend Syl Apps and daughter of former NHLer Syl Apps Jr., is a three-time Olympic hockey gold medalist for Canada. She grew up in Unionville, Ont., while she had several family members that have played sports at a high level, Apps made her own decision on where she wanted to go to university. 

“When it was time for me to go to university, I wanted to create my own path,” Apps said. “I went to Darthmouth College. For me, I wanted to go to the Ivy League.” 

Apps was inspired by watching her siblings play sports in the United States. 

“I went to Princeton to watch my brother play hockey, and I thought ‘Wow this is amazing,’ ” Apps said. “When it was time for me to go to apply for schools, I thought I could I see myself living here.” 

Apps, also a three-time IIHF world champion gold medalist, retired from international play in September 2015 with fifty goals and fifty assists in 168 international appearances. 

“People ask me what was the best Olympic, but its so hard to say,” Apps said. “I played in Torino in Italy which was my first Olympics. It was my dream came true. The second one was in Vancouver and not a lot of athletes get to represent your country as the host. The last one was in Russia, and I knew it would be my last Olympics.” 

Apps has a message to the young Canadian students going across the border. 

“Regardless of where you go, and where your education takes you, you know that Canada is always home,” said Apps, who stressed the importance of getting a post-secondary education. “For me, after I retired, right away I was so thankful that I had a degree to lean back on.” 

Amateur Hockey Scouting