2020 Award Winners

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EDITH NYAMEKYE

WINNER OF THE WINSTON WALCOTT AWARD ($1500)


Unfortunately, growing up, there was not any saved money for university for my sisters and I. I knew that I had to start saving as soon as I was able to work. The financial assistance of this scholarship will allow me to complete my first year without any student loan debt.

My goals and aspirations are to obtain as much knowledge from my program at Wilfrid Laurier University. I will be doing a 5-year double degree at the university in computer science and business administration. I also look forward to my third-year co-op at the university, which I hope takes place at either a computer science or business company. Ultimately, I aim to find a career I love in which I can continually grow, cultivate my skills, and help others. 

 
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ZUHA QURESHI

WINNNER OF THE OVERLEA/MARC GARNEAU ALUMNI AWARD ($1500)

I was excited to see that the OGAA was offering such incredible support to MGCI students who actively contributed to their school and local community. Reflecting on my various extracurriculars and community work, I felt I would be a great candidate for this award and so I applied in hopes that I’d be able to get one step closer to better financing my post-secondary education. During these unprecedented times due to COVID-19, receiving this award has been an especially crucial financial relief as I enter my first year in the Life Sciences at the University of Toronto. I plan on majoring in Human Biology and would ultimately like to pursue a medical career. I still have quite a bit to learn about myself and my strengths before I can really determine my place in Medicine, however, the vision I will keep in mind as I go through this journey is that I am working towards improving the health and lives of others, as well as creating more equitable and accessible health services for all.

 
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MOHAMMED DASU

WINNER OF THE OVERLEA/MARC GARNEAU ALUMNI AWARD ($1500)

Graduating from Garneau and starting a new academic chapter at the University of Toronto, I had a goal in mind – I wanted to expand my intellectual horizons. For the longest time, as a child, I’ve always had a burning passion for international affairs. I would read the UN Declaration of Human Rights in my free time, I would watch live feeds of Palestine and other disempowered areas, and I obsessed over food vlogs from all over the world.  I decided very early on to set my eyes on working for Foreign Services as a diplomat, and quite frankly, that hasn’t changed much at all. I applied for the Overlea Marc Garneau Alumni Scholarship because, of course, coming from a family of modest income, I very well sought out financial support. But even more importantly, I believe that the values embodied by the alumni association – values such as conscientiousness, proactiveness, and excellence – are ones that aligned with my own.  I am thrilled and truly honoured to be a part of this alumni association. I’m attending U of T St. George for a double major in Political Science and Sociology. 

 
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MAIMUNA AKTHER

WINNER OF THE FOR THE LOVE OF ART AWARD ($250)

I am Maimuna Akhter, a recent graduate of Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute and an incoming student at the University of Toronto’s Life Sciences program. I had the opportunity to be the president of our school’s Art Council and helped coordinate Art Shows, Doodlefest, and the making of several murals and a mosaic. This taught me how I can use art to raise awareness of important topics from mental health to diversity. Throughout my life, art has been an outlet for my frustrations and has calmed me. I used Art Council as a means of sharing that experience with our student body. I am honoured to be a recipient of the For the Love of Art award from the Overlea Garneau Alumni Association. I applied because during the past four years, I worked to increase the presence of art in our school and create a space where any student can come to learn something new and take a break from the stressors of school. I believe in celebrating art as well as using art to celebrate us and our differences.

 
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SHAYNAH TAHIR

WINNER OF THE GREG LANG BUSINESS AWARD ($1,000)


I am incredibly grateful to have received the Greg Lang Business Award. It is indescribable how motivational it is to be acknowledged for your efforts, passions and future goals. Going forward I know I will make my decisions and set higher goals with incredible confidence- and that is something invaluable I have been awarded. As a business student, one of my biggest goals is to foster success in my profession, so I can also, one day, support deserving students just as sponsors and donors have supported me and my peers. Thank you. 

I am currently attending Queen’s University for a Bachelor of Commerce. I cannot thank the sponsors and awarders enough for all of their help.

 
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ABRAR AL MOUKTARAN

WINNER OF THE EXCELLENCE IN ART AWARD ($250)

My plans for the future are starting university and experimenting many different kinds of art until getting my degree then becoming a very successful hard working high school art teacher. To be honest I didn’t apply for the award, I didn’t even know that it exists but my art/photography teacher gave my name and chose me. I am attending OCAD University. The program is called Drawing and Painting.

 
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BRIDGET HUH

WINNER OF THE ABBAS KOLIA COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD ($500) AND UNDERCOVER KINDNESS BURSARY ($250)

I applied for the award because I was honestly proud of how far I’ve come in accepting myself as a queer person. I can’t say I’ve completely overcome the shame and internalized homophobia, but one day I will. I’ll remember the quiet, hesitant and very queer high school student at war with herself, and congratulate myself on having made it this far. My plans for the future are to continue my studies in English and Creative Writing at Concordia University.