Except for a Thursday spring afternoon seven years ago when he was sworn in as York Regional Police Service’s third and last honorary Chief of Police, Herb Carnegie was present at every Future Aces Citizenship and Scholarship Awards.
He and his wife, Audrey, established a foundation in 1987 which awards scholarships and citizenship awards to young people across Canada.
Carnegie passed away a few weeks ago at age 92, but his memory was alive last week when 30 young people received their awards. His family presented scholarships in his and his wife’s name to University of Toronto Neuroscience and Environmental Science student Azzan Abu Rayash and aspiring child psychiatrist Mary Kimamo of McMaster University.
Audrey Carnegie, who died in 2003, and her husband were married for 63 years.
“He is looking down on us today and he would be pleased to know that everything is moving smoothly the way he would have wanted it to,” said daughter Bernice Carnegie who is executive director of the Future Aces Foundation. “He counted on us to make this happen and this is an opportunity for the recipients to learn about him and to know they can also make meaningful contributions to society.”
York University fourth-year kinesiology student, Femi Doyle-Marshall, knew Carnegie more than the other winners. He met the legend on a few occasions through his father who is a journalist.
“It’s the greatest feeling to be part of a community that recognizes the work you are doing,” said the Senator O’Connor Catholic Secondary School graduate. “It’s really special to receive a Future Aces award because Mr. Carnegie lived a rich life and he has left a lasting legacy.”
It was second time lucky for Ryerson University first-year student, Oluwatobi Taiwo, who applied for the scholarship while enrolled at R.H. King Academy.
“The Future Aces creed represents everything that I stand for,” said the aspiring lawyer. “I am so happy to be a recipient of this scholarship and my only regret is that I did not get to meet Mr. Carnegie.”
Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Taiwo spent four years in Darwin, Australia while her father was pursuing his doctorate before the family migrated to Canada in 2005.
Branksome Hall student, Shalon Hunte, is following in the footsteps of older brother Jamaal who demonstrated excellent oratorical skills at a young age and was in demand as a speaker at community events across the city.
“He has had a huge impact on me,” she admitted. “I grew up watching him getting standing ovations and I really admired that.”
Jamaal Hunte is a fourth-year University of Toronto Life Sciences program student. His sister will pursue Law beginning next semester at either the University of Toronto, Trent University or Bishop’s University.
The other scholarship and citizenship award winners were Basro Ahmed, Danielle Alvares, Kendra Barlow, Dhruv Bhalla, Haley Carson, Julie Chan, Danny Fee, Somdip Ghosh, Jocelyn Guilbeault, Kisa Iqbal, Ryan Lameroux, Linda Li, Wendy Liao, Lindsay Martel, Amal Mohamed, David Nguyen, Haley O’Shaughnessy, Caleb Park, Thrmiga Sathiyamoorthy, Katherine Shan, Lisa Shao, Pranavan Sivakumar, Sabrina Spencer, Darren Touch and Marie Wright.
Merit Awards were also presented to Brock University first-year student Dayne Harry and Malissa Vidal-Bodai who attends Riverside Secondary School.
The foundation has presented close to $550,000 in scholarships since the national initiative was launched. There were 380 applicants this year.
By RON FANFAIR