When Javaun Greenland’s father invited him to Canada to pursue a university education, he was more than ready. He was enrolled in St. George’s College, one of Jamaica’s prominent high schools which has produced several Rhodes Scholars and philanthropist and Ryerson University chancellor Dr. Raymond Chang.
Blessed with exceptional moral values and a solid foundation, the young man was prepared for new challenges when he arrived in the Greater Toronto Area in June 2010.
“With the grounding I had in Jamaica, it was not difficult for me to assimilate in my new school here or in a new environment,” said Greenland who completed Grade 12 with honours at St. Augustine Secondary School in Brampton and is enrolled in McMaster University’s Chemical Engineering program.
“My main challenge was last December’s wind chill. It was not that I couldn’t manage it, but I just could not feel my face at times. I had no problem fitting in school because I came here with one goal and that was to finish high school with honours which I did and then move on to the next phase of my educational journey.”
Inspired by Dr. Ben Carson’s book Think Big which he read when he was in elementary school, Greenland plans to follow his idol’s path and become one of the world’s top neurosurgeons.
“My passion for the medical field came when I was five years old and I read a biology book and then Mr. Carson’s book a few years later,” recalled Greenland who volunteered with Sterling Dentistry and coached at the Brampton Tennis Club. “When you open someone’s head and look inside, you will realize that all human beings are constructed basically the same. For me, the brain is the most beautiful part of any person’s anatomy and that is why I am so fascinated with the field.”
Greenland was one of 16 Peel area high school graduates to receive $1,000 scholarships at the United Achievers Club of Brampton’s (UACB) 27th annual awards dinner last Saturday night.
“This award does not only represent something physical that I am receiving,” 17-year-old Greenland said. “For me, it’s also spiritual and very uplifting and I will cherish it because it’s the first major academic award I have been given since I am in Canada.”
He was one of two students from his high school to receive scholarships. The other was Shanelle Holness who is enrolled in the University of Waterloo’s Social Development Studies program. She co-founded her school’s Teen Action Group and was the recipient of the Citizenship and Catholic Student awards. After completing her degree, Holness plans to become a motivational speaker, write books on the power of love and spearhead fundraising for the establishment of an artistic organization for impoverished young people.
Scholarships were also presented to Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School graduates Dave Harris who is pursuing Health Studies at the University of Waterloo, 18-year-old McMaster University Social Science student Andrea Nwabuike who plans to study Neurology, world humanitarian aspirant N’ttendre Cox who is in York University’s Health Management program and Ryerson University Film Studies student Jordon Veira who was last year recognized with the principal’s award for student leadership and the vice-principal’s student citizenship honour.
Matthew Lyon, Rashad Ryan and Gabrielle Sinclair follow a distinguished group of St. Edmund Campion Secondary School graduates recognized with UACB scholarships.
Lyon is pursuing Music Studies at the University of Waterloo, Ryan – he aspires to be a TV news correspondent – is enrolled in Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning Media Communications program and Sinclair – a Hazel McCallion Leadership Award winner – plans to pursue a Masters in Business Administration after completing her first degree at Wilfrid Laurier University.
This year’s Turner Fenton Secondary School recipients were Adelaide Agyepong who is enrolled in McGill University’s Bachelor of Arts & Science program and University of Toronto (U of T) first-year Co-op Arts Management program student Olivia Wallace who won visual arts, academic achievement and fashion awards in high school.
Other scholarship winners were Oladipupo Alimi who graduated from Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School with honours and is in the U of T Co-op Cell & Molecular Biology program, Central Peel Secondary School graduate Alyssa Andrew who is studying International Business at Seneca College, law school aspirant Asha Fletcher who graduated from Applewood Heights Secondary School and is pursuing Social Science studies at the U of T, Rick Hansen Secondary School graduate and U of T student Yousra Hassan-Gendil who plans to complete an undergraduate degree in International Relations and work for the World Health Organization and St. Joseph Secondary School graduate Joshuelle Solomon who is enrolled in the University of Western Ontario’s Biological and Medical Science program. Her career goal is to become a science teacher.
The UACB, in collaboration with its corporate partners, including the Kiwanis Club of Brampton, Sun Life Financial, Peel Regional Police and Sterling Dental and private donors, have rewarded 285 high school graduates for academic excellence and community service with close to $266,000 in tuition assistance in the last 27 years.
Each year, the UACB – which was established 31 years ago – also recognizes members and community workers who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the organization.
Former Liberal Member of Parliament Gurbax Singh Malhi was presented with the Community Service Award while Dorothy Samuels and Rogers TV were the recipients of the Senior Citizen and Media awards.
UACB longtime supporter Dr. Anthony Sterling was the keynote speaker.