Feeling the weight of the heavy cost of higher education, Khadija Lee is always on the lookout for bursaries and scholarships.
For the most part, the final-year student has been unsuccessful until two weeks ago when she was awarded Brock University’s Communications scholarship to honour the memory of Enterprise Canada founder, Lou Cahill, who died in November 2008 at the age of 94.
Cahill started Canada’s longest-operating public relations firm almost six decades ago.
“I was surprised and shocked when I was informed that I was the winner because this is only the second scholarship that I have won,” said Lee who graduates on June 7 with a Media & Communications degree.
Two years ago, she was a recipient of a Congress of Black Women of Canada Waterloo chapter scholarship.
Enterprise Canada president and chief executive officer, Barbara Fox, said Cahill would have been proud of Lee’s community engagement and commitment to charitable service.
As a communications assistant at Traverese Independence in Kitchener, she helped an acquired brain injury client with speech and communication skills by creating social environments to promote interactivity, dialogue and speech. In addition, she used semiotics to offer empowering images, graphics and text for posters she developed for the Canadian Mental Health Association of Kitchener.
Following the violent death of Kitchener youth, Howard Munroe, who was swarmed by White youths in a park 11 years ago, Lee was part of Working Against Youth Violence Everywhere (WAYVE) which is a youth-oriented violence prevention initiative.
Jennifer Good, a communications, popular culture and film associate professor at Brock University, said Lee deserves the accolade.
“Khadija looked for everything she could possibly get from her education experience and gave so much to the rest of us in the process,” she said.
The daughter of a Jamaican-born father and British mother, Lee attended Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener.
“Her passion for improving relationships among young people and her commitment to living and modelling a life of justice are remarkable,” said Dennis Gingrich, the school’s guidance head. “She’s a visionary and talented young woman who will change the world around her.”
A former media intern with the Predators of the Canadian Junior Football League, Lee is considering doing a Master’s degree.
“It’s something that I am thinking about and it could very well be in Social Justice,” she said.
By RON FANFAIR