Four students from at-risk neighbourhoods in the Greater Toronto Area (Pickering, Etobicoke and Brampton) were awarded $500 scholarships to help with the cost of attending post-secondary education at a recently-held back2school BBQ sponsored by SEIU Healthcare, Canada’s largest healthcare union, and Miracle Centre Ministries.
They are Richard Gayle, James Sylvester, Andre Dickenson and Ana Mesquita.
Members of SEIU Healthcare’s Multi-Faith & Community Networks (SMCN) committee raised the scholarship funds at their 3rdAnnual Fundraising Gala in June. In addition to the GTA students, a $500 scholarship has also been awarded to a student from an at-risk neighbourhood in Kingston, Jamaica. The committee has previously provided textbooks and other school supplies to this community.
Gayle, 19, is in his 2nd year of the Business Administration program at York University. He serves as vice-president of youth committees at Miracle Center Ministries, choir director and youth mentor.
Eighteen-year-old Sylvester will be attending Northwest Technical Kansas College in the United States to study Business and Art. He has been a high school basketball MVP two years in a row, an honour roll student and a youth volunteer with the local community center.
Dickenson, 21, is attending Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning where he is studying Culinary Management and is in his 2nd year. He is active in the youth committee at Miracle Center Ministries and serves as a youth mentor.
Mesquita, 18, will be attending Seneca College to study Graphic Design. She made the honour roll all four years of high school, volunteered for youth day camps, received an Ontario Scholar award and was a member of the graphic design and photography clubs.
SEIU Healthcare, Canada’s largest healthcare union, represents more than 55,000 healthcare and community services workers across Ontario. The union’s members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes and community services throughout the province.