A leading Canadian human capital development specialist shared some of the approaches she has used in her personal and professional life to achieve excellence with this year’s United Achievers Club of Brampton (UACB) scholarship winners and other young people in the audience at the organization’s 30th annual awards dinner last Saturday night.
Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, who has over three decades of talent development experience specializing in the areas of executive and leadership development, curriculum development and implementation, technology-mediated distance learning and program evaluation, is the executive director of the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education.
Established 13 years ago, the centre is a unique public–private partnership dedicated to growing Toronto region’s financial services cluster and building it as a top global financial services centre.
“For me, excellence is a mix of having a passion for what you do, taking action and having a moral compass,” said Chandler-Crichlow in the keynote address. “As young leaders, I urge you to take the time to determine what you are passionate about. Define your passion, whether that’s in the area of giving back to your community or being the best in science, music, business or in any other area of studies you pursue. It’s this passion that, along with your qualifications, will help open doors as you chart your future.”
The holder of a B.Sc. and diploma in education from the University of the West Indies, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Toronto, Chandler-Crichlow reminded the teenagers that their responsibilities increase as they progress in life.
“It is into your hands that we will be passing the torch to build a fair, strong, caring and civil society in which you will be advocates for the marginalized groups around us,” she said. “I therefore urge you to give some of your time to build that civil society you wish to live in tomorrow.”
This year’s scholarship recipients include York University music program student James Tulloch, whose mother, Lola Gayle, a vice-principal at Harold M. Brathwaite Secondary School in Brampton, was a major influence in him gravitating to a musical career.
“She would play Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson songs at home and in the car and I loved it,” said Tulloch. “When I got to high school, a teacher felt I had a talent for singing and encouraged me to join the vocal class.”
Tulloch, who also plays the trumpet, piano and guitar, performed with the school’s Magnetics Jazz Choir and coached the arts program Grade Nine vocal class.
He plans to open a music studio in the United States and a restaurant in Canada.
Three St. Marguerite d’Youville and Turner Fenton Secondary Schools graduates were among this year’s scholarship winners.
They are Mary Ajenifuja, Rachel Bair and Kamoi McWhinney (St. Marguerite d’Youville) and Kyanna Brown, Chantal Phillips and Aishat Shipeolu (Turner Fenton).
Enrolled in the University of Waterloo’s health studies co-operative program, Ajenifjua and Bair – who both volunteered in Haitian orphanages last year – plan to attend medical school while McWhinney is enrolled in the University of Toronto’s (U of T) social sciences program.
An aspiring polyglot, Brown is in the University of Ottawa’s conflict studies & human rights program while Phillips and Shipeolu are registered in the University of Western Ontario’s medical sciences program.
Phillips plans to own a youth health care centre in the Greater Toronto Area and Shipeolu aspires to be either an oncologist or general surgeon.
Other scholarship winners were North Park Secondary School graduate, Cameron Blake, who is in Ryerson University’s business technology management program; University of Western Ontario first-year student, Jamila Brown, who graduated from Milton District High School and plans to become a corporate or human rights lawyer; Tyndale University College & Seminary freshman, Natasha Daley, who graduated from Brampton Centennial Secondary School and aspires to be a kindergarten teacher; 18-year-old St. Roch Catholic Secondary School Grade 12 valedictorian, Amanda David, who is an author and spoken word artist; University of Guelph biological sciences program student, Vissy Elad, who graduated from St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic School and intends to pursue medicine as a career; Central Peel Secondary School graduate, Jayde Forde, who is enrolled in the U of T’s computer science, math and statistics program; Ontario Scholar, Asha Gordon, who graduated from Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School international business & technology program and is enrolled in Queen’s University economics & global development program; Cardinal Leger Secondary School graduate and elite dance team choreographer, Georgina Omoro, who is studying biomedical sciences at the University of Waterloo; Humber College broadcasting & radio program student, Ashelly Smith, who successfully completed high school studies at St. Edmund Campion Secondary School and Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School graduate, Tianna Thomas, who is in Brock University’s accounting program.
A total of 317 students have been awarded scholarships totalling nearly $320,000 in the last three decades.
Previous recipients include associate lawyer and U of T Rotman School of Business doctoral candidate, Hadiya Roderique, who aims to be a tenured professor at a research-intensive business school; lawyer and U of T Black Alumni Association co-founder, Shawn Knights; Rhodes Scholar and youth advocate, Dr. Kofi Hope, who is the managing director of Community Empowering Enterprises, a non-profit organization established to create economic opportunities for Black youths in the Greater Toronto Area and James Khan, an anaesthesiology resident physician at the U of T.
The UACB, created 34 years ago, also recognizes members and community workers who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the organization.
Dr. Matthews Weekes was the recipient of the Community Leadership Award and Delores Hoppel was recognized with the Senior Citizen Award.