By RON FANFAIR
Sharona Weekes and Corey Howard had every reason to feel good about themselves.
They were among eight recipients of this year’s Our Lady of Good Counsel Caribbean Catholic Church & Centre’s 10th annual scholarships and bursary awards presented last Saturday night at St. Roch Parish Centre in Toronto’s west end.
This was the first time that they were rewarded for academic or community excellence.
“It feels good and it’s nice to know that there are people out there helping other people,” said Howard who graduated from Francis Libermann Catholic Secondary School and is enrolled in Centennial College’s Justice Service program. “This scholarship will help me further my goal of becoming a probation officer and in the process continue to serve my community.”
A graduate of St. Mary’s Secondary School, Weekes is a second-year student in the Humber College paralegal program.
“I am excited about this award and happy that I was selected,” she said. “This scholarship will help me to continue with my program, which is a stepping stone in fulfilling my career goal of becoming a criminal lawyer.”
Scholarships were also presented to Dalhousie University second year Speech and Language Pathology student, Natalie Wint; York University third-year sociology student, Marsha Bryce; University of Toronto second-year political science student, Sylvanna Francis-Rae; York University third-year business administration student, Jeremy Wills and Kelly James who is pursuing Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies at Ryerson University.
Shoshanna Simon-Murray was the recipient of this year’s bursary. The second-year Trent University cultural studies student is captain of her hip hop dance team and an aspiring singer.
Althea Parsons, the Sister Kathleen Jackman memorial scholarship chair, said the church is committed to empowering young people.
“That is the main reason why we have committed ourselves for 10 years to award scholarships and bursaries to the younger generation,” she said. “Our aim has always been to give our youth the tools to move on, to survive and experience the world. There can hardly be a better investment than this.”
Previous scholarship winners include New York University doctoral candidate, Laurie Lambert, who is in Grenada doing archival research for her dissertation on cultural production and political ideology during the Grenada Revolution.
The scholarships and bursary were presented in the name of Kathleen Jackman, a member of the Order of Dominican sisters, who came to Canada in 1979 to work as a Lay Sister at the Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1982 and died in January 1985, just eight days after returning to her native Trinidad & Tobago.
Over the past decade, the church has presented nearly $43,000 in scholarships and bursaries.