Without a National Junior Golf Academy (NJGA) scholarship, Ellen Konadu had no idea when she would have graduated from Humber College’s criminal justice program.
“I would be struggling to pay for post-secondary education and it certainly would have taken me longer to complete the program,” she said.
Thanks to Kingsley Rowe and the NJGA which started a scholarship program in 2008 to assist youths in challenged communities or those whose parents couldn’t afford to send them to college or university pursue post-secondary education, Konadu could focus on her education without worrying about tuition costs.”
She and 15 other young people have each benefitted from $16,000 scholarships to cover their four years in college/university.
“The biggest thing this has done for me is that I am now able to concentrate fully on my school work without having to worry about where money is going to come from to cover the next semester and other additional costs like books,” said the Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic High School graduate. “In my first semester, my average was 72 per cent. Now, I am at 82 and climbing.”
Other scholarship beneficiaries include Regent Park-raised spoken word artist Trevlyn Kennedy who is at Oxford University in England this month on an exchange program and Danusha Jebanesan who graduated from the University of Toronto and is enrolled in the University of Ottawa’s College of Medicine.
Funds for the scholarship program are raised through an annual invitational golf tournament.
This year’s event, comprising foursome teams led by a golf professional, took place last Monday at the Scarboro Golf & Country Club. The entrance fee for a foursome was $4,000.
“We had a great time out there in really nice weather,” said realtor Steve Nehlawi whose team-mates were Share publisher Arnold Auguste, his son Hollingsworth Auguste and son-in-law Michael Annett. “I am a good friend of Arnold and it was nice to be with him and his family members having fun for a good cause.”
Ontario Place Corporation chair and former provincial assistant deputy minister Joe Halstead relished the opportunity to assist young people attain their educational goals.
“They are our future and I will always be there to do my part when it comes to helping to lift our youths,” said Halstead whose teammates were Duke Swaby, Keith Lyons and Tim Escoffery. “I have played on this course before and it’s a tough one. But that didn’t matter today. It’s really about the young people.”
Several scholarship recipients, including Konadu and Jebanesan, volunteered at the golf fundraiser.
Migrating from Jamaica in 1976, Rowe established the NJGA to teach underprivileged young people life lessons through golf.
“Having played golf from a young age, I appreciate the discipline it brought to me and the difference it made in my life,” he said.
Some 3,000 young people from the city’s designated priority neighbourhoods have passed through the program since 1999.