Kateejia Smith has been a New Life Covenant Centre (formerly Malton Church of God) member since her birth 17 years ago.
Last Sunday, the Mississauga church presented the teenager with a bursary to pursue post-secondary studies at its fifth annual bursary awards.
“This is the church where I was christened and I have been coming to all my life,” said Smith, who attended Ascension of Our Lord Secondary School.
“This is like family here and I am honoured to be recognized with a bursary that will assist in the pursuit of my academic goals.”
Smith, who enjoys writing, playing the clarinet and spending time with family and friends, is enrolled at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus where she will pursue Psychology and Biology studies. She aspires to be a paediatrician.
The other recipients were Eulalee Lumsden, Chevelle Williams, Trevlee Small and Natasha Dore.
A Lincoln Alexander Secondary School graduate, Lumsden, has been accepted into York University’s English and Professional Writing program.
“Writing is my passion and in 10 years I see myself as being the editor of a major publication,” she said. “I will achieve that goal one step at a time.”
Williams, who migrated to Toronto from Jamaica two years ago, completed high school at Turner Fenton Secondary School. Enrolled in Humber College’s Health, Science and Technology program, she plans to become a registered nurse.
Dore, 18, graduated from St. Edmund Campion Secondary School and is actively involved in her church. The aspiring teacher heads off to the University of Windsor this week to study Biology.
“I have had good teachers who made quite an impression on me,” she said. “It’s because of them that I want to get into the profession.”
St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary School graduate Trevlee Small welcomed the bursary with open arms.
“It provides a little financial freedom for me and less of a strain on my mom,” said the Ryerson University student who is studying Psychology. “This is a happy day.”
The church’s Loving Kindness Ministry, set up 11 years ago to financially assist church and community members, supports the scholarship program. The theme of this year’s scholarship presentation was “Claim Your Place”.
“I want you to understand that you have a right to claim your place in this world,” Rev. Iris Douglas, who heads the ministry, told the winners. “I plead with you to approach your career choice with this great sense of entitlement.”
By RON FANFAIR