The past few months have been very rewarding for Kenya Pinnock. The recipient of several academic grants, including scholarships from the Markham African Caribbean Association (MACA) and the Jamaican Canadian Association, Pinnock was presented with the Council of Caribbean Associations Canada (CCAC) bursary last Saturday night at the Guyana Ex-Soldiers Association (Canada) annual Christmas dinner.
A graduate of Bill Crothers Secondary School where she was involved in sports and community activities, Pinnock intends to remain an active participant in her community by becoming a York Regional police officer.
She’s a member of the Born Leaders Empowering Youth Positively (BLEYP) youth group that’s affiliated to the MACA. Formerly Black Leadership Empowering Youth Positively, the group was the recipient of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Community Mobilization Award five years ago.
A York Regional police officer is assigned to the organization to provide assistance and direction when required.
“I have seen the positive effect police officers could have in a community and that is one of the main reasons for me wanting to become a law enforcement officer,” said Pinnock who has been a MACA volunteer for the past four years.
The teenager is enrolled in York University’s fine arts program majoring in visual arts. She intends to transfer to criminology in her second year.
A CCAC bursary was presented to University of Toronto life sciences student, Faustine Grant, who underwent open heart surgery at age 10 to repair a malfunctioning mitral valve. The Ontario Scholar plans to attend medical school and become a surgeon.
The CCAC was created three years ago to promote and support the political, social, economic, cultural and recreational development of people of Caribbean ancestry living in Canada and also encourage and develop networking opportunities.
Its founding president, Frances DelSol, recently stepped away from the leadership position.
“I will continue to be an integral part of the organization, but I think the time has come for someone else to lead,” said DelSol, who is president of the Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association (CDOA).
The Alliance of Guyanese Canadian Organizations also presented bursaries to Imani South and Kadaisha Gibson-Samuels last Saturday night.
South, who graduated from Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School with provincial honours, was awarded the Core French Certificate and the Leadership, Stop the Stigma Leadership and Youth in Control Leadership Awards. The aspiring teacher is enrolled at the U of T Scarborough campus.
A community volunteer for the past five years, Gibson-Samuels is a second-year social work student at York University, where she’s a member of the sexual assault support line that counsels victims on campus and in the community.
She is also an accomplished pianist, an Ontario Scholar and the recipient of the Niagara District School Board’s silver medallion for academic performance.