Brampton group gives students a helping hand


Last Saturday night was special for University of Guelph Mechanical Engineering student, Troy Taylor.

Having never won an academic award prior to last week, Taylor received scholarships from the United Achievers Club of Brampton (UACB) and the Jamaican Canadian Association on the same night. He also had an opportunity to meet former Ontario cabinet Minister Mary Anne Chambers who donated his scholarship.

“This is simply great and it cannot get any better for me,” said the smartly dressed and modest young man who plans to pursue a Masters in Engineering before launching his own company that will specialize in designing new and innovative machines. “The financial awards help greatly and I am very appreciative of what both organizations are doing to assist youths advance their education.”

The Mayfield Secondary School student said he was always fascinated by machines and how they work.

“That’s something that I took a liking to from a very young age,” he added. “I knew a long time ago what I wanted to do with my life and I have stuck to my goals.”

At high school, Taylor played soccer and football and was a member of the Regional Arts Program for Drama and the Improv Club. He was also actively involved with Peel Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Conversation clubs and he volunteered at the UACB’s Celebrity Chef, Men Who Cook event last spring.

Taylor was among 21 high school graduates presented with scholarships at the UACB’s 25th annual academic and recognition awards gala in Brampton.

“To know that community organizations really care about giving youths a hand to reach their academic goals is fantastic and something I do not take lightly,” said St. Francis Xavier Secondary School graduate Mark Ilgner who is enrolled in the Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning nursing program.

Ilgner aspires to follow his mother, who is a nurse, in the medical field.

“While growing up, I suffered from severe asthmatic attacks and I had to be taken to The Hospital for Sick Kids regularly,” he said. “The work that doctors and nurses did appealed to me and I remember telling my parents since I was four that I wanted to be a doctor.”

The UACB, in collaboration with its partners the Kiwanis Club of Brampton, Scotiabank, Peel Regional Police, Sterling Dental and private donors, have rewarded 240 Peel high school graduates with $236,000 in tuition assistance in the last 25 years.

Other scholarship winners this year are Fletcher Meadow Secondary School graduates Rochelle Parcells and Thelma Abankwa who are pursuing Health and Psychology Studies respectively at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo; Cawthra Secondary School graduate Yanick Allwood who is enrolled in the Bachelor’s degree Music program at the University of Western Ontario; Bilaal Anderson, an aspiring self-made entrepreneur, who is enrolled in the Business Studies program at the University of Toronto (Mississauga campus); Mayfield Secondary School graduate Kamilah Apong who plans to work in the music industry and non-profit sector after graduating from the University of Toronto where she’s pursuing Co-op Arts Management Studies; aspiring Game Developer Stephen Barrett who is enrolled in the Computer Science & Game Development program at Carleton University and O’Neil Blackwood who is registered in Ryerson University’s Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Science and Aerospace Engineer program.

Scholarships were also presented to Ricardo Bowen who aspires to be a Social Worker; Jerome Grant who is enrolled in Humber College’s Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning Electrical Engineering and Technology Control Systems program; Stacey Gbeklui who plans to become a youth counselor after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University; Judith Jubril who aspires to be a policy administrator; Di Sha Phillip who intends to become a Marriage and Family therapist; St. Edmund Campion Secondary School valedictorian Corey Sherwood who is pursuing Business Administration studies at Wilfrid Laurier University with the purpose of becoming a marketing/brand manager and chief executive officer of his own company, and Kevin Semple, who plans to become a Mechanical Engineer specializing in robotics.

Humber College’s Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning Bachelor of Applied Arts-Paralegal Studies program student Samira Sinclair; University of Waterloo Honours Science program student Jessica Thorpe who wants to become either a pharmacist or medical doctor; University of Ontario Institution of Technology Communications student Jonathan Wallace; Abigail-Margaret Williams who aspires to be bilingual lawyer and Shanice Williams who is enrolled at Laurentian University also received academic awards.

This year’s Harry Jerome award winner for Excellence in Business Wayne Isaacs, who migrated to Canada from Jamaica at age 11 and was one of three boys raised by a single mother, shared his life story with the scholarship awardees and challenged them to strive for success.

He is the co-founder, CEO and chairman of Delta Uranium Inc. which is a TSX-listed company.

Each year, the UACB recognizes members and community workers who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the organization.

Myrtle O’Connor was presented with a Senior Citizen award while Dr. Fae Samuels was the recipient of the Community Leadership award. Samuels was the first visible minority vice-principal and principal with the Dufferin-Peel District School Board where she has been an administrator for the past 17 years.

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