Five Canadian universities have accepted Hazel Kabibi and while the aspiring neurosurgeon hasn’t decided where she will enroll, she has an idea where that could be.
“Carleton University doesn’t only focus on neuroscience,” said the Michael Power St. Joseph Catholic High School Grade 12 student who was a recipient of a Future Aces scholarship last week. “There is an emphasis on mental health and how anxiety and depression affect people today and they also have a neuroscience department which is a hub of mental health research.”
Kabibi has been quite active outside the classroom. She has spent the last six years volunteering and working with children in various organizations, including the Salvation Army, Canadian Girl Guides and the City of Toronto.
“I have a passion for engaging young people,” said Kabibi who also teaches two youths how to play the baritone and clarinet.
Rev. Dr. Chester Searles and his wife Janice donated the scholarship. They have been supporting the Futures Aces program for the past nine years.
Searles is the pastor at BME Christ Church St. James while his wife is a retired Toronto District School Board (TDSB) principal.
“Education is a passion for both of us and we want to give young people in our community every opportunity to succeed,” said Searles who retired two years ago after 31 years on the job. “We are also happy to be associated with anything to do with Dr. Carnegie because he always encouraged youths to pursue higher education.”
The Herb Carnegie Foundation has given out $560,000 in scholarships since the national project was established 26 years ago. Students from 97 school boards applied for 30 financial awards.
“The financial help certainly goes a long way,” said Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy Grade 12 student Tiana Knight who intends to become either a teacher or lawyer.
Knight, who travelled to Jamaica last year during March break to volunteer with Missionaries of the Poor, has been accepted by York University.
Other scholarship winners were Edman Abukar, Elspeth Arbow, Jessica Baik, Abinaya Balasubramaniam, Lika Chowdhury, Brittany Danishevsky, Nicole Doray, Alex Escobar, Renz Grospe, Christine Hui, Karine Jarzecki, Isiah Lea, Nicole Marchand, Amber Oram, Leanne Prendergast, Alexandra Sakellariou, Caitlin Salvino, Ieta Shams, Annie Shi, Kassandra Shorten, Sharon Thomson, Maxwell Tran, Anthony Vo, Liyang Wang, Khadija Waseem, Shaira Wignarajah, Jason Xie and Shanice Yarde.
Meanwhile, Bernice Carnegie has stepped down as the Herb Carnegie Future Aces Foundation’s executive director.
“It has been an incredible journey following in the footsteps of my father,” said Carnegie. “He dropped a pebble that has rippled in so many directions that I am constantly overwhelmed by the reactions of those whose lives he has touched.
“I will share his message in a new capacity, specifically through presentations and workshops in schools and corporations and through police services initiatives.”
Tka Pinnock vacated the role of resource development coordinator at Tropicana Community Services Organization (TCSO) to replace Carnegie.
“She’s vibrant and we need someone with a lot of energy to work with our clients,” she said. “Tka is bright and full of wonderful ideas and incredible strength.”
A graduate of Queen’s University and the London School of Economics & Political Science, Pinnock has been very involved in the community.
She was a former vice-president, director of communications and director of health and social issues with the Markham African Caribbean Association; chair of the Jamaica 50 Celebrations Toronto Inc. 4WD youth committee and secretary of the Wolmer’s Alumni Association’s Toronto chapter.