Sheereen Harris may be down, but she’s not out. With the Canadian national track and field championships just a week away in Moncton, the York University sprinter suffered a right ankle injury last Tuesday while hurdling.
“They said it’s a break, but I am hoping it’s a sprain,” said Harris, who has had to contend with injuries in the past, including turf toe. “I am an optimist.”
Despite the pain and disappointment, the second-year kinesiology student and Academic All-Canadian was extremely pleased to be a Sister Kathleen Jackman memorial scholarship recipient last Saturday night.
“It’s always satisfying to be recognized for your achievements,” said Harris, who graduated from Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School. “This will help to alleviate some of the financial stress.”
Our Lady of the Good Counsel Caribbean Catholic Church has been presenting scholarships in Jackman’s name for the past 14 years.
A member of the Order of Dominican sisters, Jackman came to Canada in 1979 to work as a Lay Sister at the church. Diagnosed with cancer three years later, she died in January 1985, just eight days after returning to her native Trinidad & Tobago.
Other scholarship recipients were Kyle Ali, Delsey Andrew-Augustin, Dalise Bernett, Tenesha Caesar and Jesse George.
A Northwood University business management graduate, Ali is enrolled in the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education teaching program. He co-founded a grassroots collective – YOUnited Neighbourhoods which is supported by the province’s Youth Challenge Fund – and is an instructor for an after-school community program, Literacy Through Hip-Hop.
“This scholarship is very special as it comes from my own community,” said Ali, who also coaches soccer.
St. Lucian-born Andrew-Augustin is pursuing media communications at York University, Bernett is a third-year communications, media & film student at the University of Windsor; Caesar aspires to be an interpreter for the deaf and blind and George is a third-year transportation planning student at Ryerson University.
Two additional scholarships were added this year in memory of Rev. Phillip Howard, who served at the church for four years until 2002. He suffered a massive heart attack at St. Mark’s parish in Harlem last December and passed away in hospital a short time later.
The recipients were Kempha Fields and Zachary Crooks.
Fields, 18, plays steelpan and is enrolled in Centennial College’s child & youth worker program while Crooks just completed his first year at McGill University, where he’s pursuing political science and history.
“This scholarship is special because I have grown up in this church where I was baptized,” said Crooks, who intends to pursue a law degree.
Since the program was instituted in 2000, the church has presented 72 scholarships worth nearly $60,000.
Previous winners include Ryerson University and York University graduate, Laurie Lambert, who completed her doctoral dissertation – Worlds Real and Invented: The Grenada Revolution and the Caribbean Literary Imaginary – at New York University this spring and is set to join the University of California faculty of African-American & African Studies as an assistant professor in September.