The Malton Church of God has been Danielle Grant’s sanctuary even before she was conceived 17 years ago.
Her parents, grandparents and other relatives have been members since the church moved to its current Mississauga site in November 1990.
Last Sunday, the Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School graduate, who is about to enter the University of Guelph at Humber, was awarded a bursary by the church that she was baptised in and of which she has been an integral member her entire life.
“This is like my home away from home,” said Grant, who will major in social studies. “I have been an usher, Sunday school helper and other things here. I enjoy this place and the good times I have had during the years and it’s nice to get this recognition.”
Grant aspires to be a high school teacher or lawyer.
“I am still undecided, but this bursary will certainly help me to get to where I want to go,” she said.
Bursaries were also presented to Odane Taylor and Natalie Dixon.
Dixon has also enjoyed a lengthy relationship with the Pentecostal church, attending regularly for 16 of her 19 years.
“The only time I have missed a Sunday service is when I am away on vacation,” said the St. Joseph Secondary School graduate who enters Humber College this semester to pursue early childhood education studies.
She has been a very active member, helping out on the switchboard, in the ministry’s TV studio and with the Sunday school & children’s program.
“I totally relish every minute I am at the church and it’s really gratifying to be rewarded with this academic honour,” she said. “It means that my church is supporting me to attain my career goal.”
Dixon aspires to be a nurse.
Taylor, 18, graduated from Lincoln Alexander Secondary School, and is about to pursue general arts & science studies at Sheridan College. He migrated to Canada from Jamaica eight years ago.
“This award will motivate me to want to succeed,” said Taylor whose career goal is to be a production engineer and songwriter. “I have had some disappointments in my life, but I feel as if this award is a blessing and I intend to make every use of the opportunity.”
The Loving Kindness Ministry (LKM), which is an arm of the church established nine years ago, administers the bursary program.
“This is one of the highlights for us,” said LKM president Rev. Iris Douglas. “At a time when so many young people are giving up on their education, here we have three outstanding youth from our community who are successfully pushing forward against the odds. “Certainly their passion, commitment and ambition to be all they can be will be the driving force in moving them forward as outstanding contributors to this country.”
This is the third year that the church has presented bursaries to deserving high school graduates.