By RON FANFAIR
Yvonne Cole didn’t finish high school. She, however, vowed that she would work with an organization to ensure that adult students facing financial challenges complete their education.
Cole found a willing ally in the Congress of Black Women of Canada Mississauga chapter.
The organization has presented its first adult bursary to Tiisetso Russell who is a full-time Ph.D. student in Adult Education and Community Development/Comparative International Development Education at the University of Toronto.
“I did not have the chance to finish high school in Jamaica because my father could not afford it,” said Cole who came to Canada in 1969. “And when I got here, I tried to go back but I couldn’t because I was the sole breadwinner for my family here and in Jamaica.”
Cole recently started computer studies and is relishing it. She also welcomed the opportunity to help Russell, who migrated here with her family from Zimbabwe five years ago, to complete her doctorate.
Her thesis will explore the experience of Black foreign-trained lawyers credentialing in Ontario. Russell is a foreign-trained lawyer who wrote her bar exams last week.
“I am at the stage where I am finalizing my proposal and I will soon start the data collection process,” said the mother of two.
The Mississauga chapter has been awarding bursaries since it was established in 1985.
This year’s recipients were Rachel Wilson-Jeffers, Tshea Dowers, Joseph Ojelade, Darryl Simon, Spencer Reid and Juliana Calvan.
Simon graduated from St. Edmund Campion Secondary School where he was a member of the senior band and dance club and is set to enter the University of Toronto in September to study psychology; Reid will pursue business at York University after graduating from Turner Fenton Secondary School and Calvan is enrolled in Humber College’s Community Justice Service program.
Wilson-Jeffers graduated from Iona Catholic Secondary School and has been accepted into McMaster University’s Life Science program; Dowers completed high school at Cawthra Park Secondary and will pursue a degree in biochemistry at McGill University and Ojelade graduated from Central Peel Secondary School and will study Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Waterloo.
“Since childhood, I have had a profound interest in how and why cities in the developed countries are more livable than those in the developing countries, especially in Africa,” said Ojelade, who is also an accomplished basketball player and active volunteer.