2021 Award Winners

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Winner of the Principal’s Award ($1,000)

Transitioning from Garneau to post-secondary education was quite tough, especially through the pandemic and online classes. Since grade 8 I have had a passion for learning all types of sciences, but I was not given any recognition or any support. I find it extremely important that we as students are fortunate enough to have teachers at Garneau who are always there to help and guide us. I started gaining confidence and other skills in grade 11 and 12. Now I am a first-year student at George Brown College, studying Pre-health Sciences. I am extremely thankful for all the opportunities I got into high school, and I appreciate the countless amount of help I received from my science teachers.
Instagram: jamal_416

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Winner of the For the Love of Art Award ($250)

Moving here and settling in a western environment was not as tough as it was in the beginning of high school. My love and passion for art and design has always attracted me and I knew from the start that I would like to pursue a career in design revolving around art. I had very little motivation and appreciation towards the art I presented during middle school. Although I did not apply for this award, my dedication to assist in the Overlea Bridge Campaign and my love of the arts has made this possible.
While looking into programs to study, I always wanted to do something related to designing and the arts. I got into Environmental Design: Interior Design at OCAD University. That was my dream university to study at because it is one of the most well-known art schools. If I could go back to high school, I would thank all my technology and art teachers for their guidance and help to assist me in building the confidence that made me achieve all my accomplishments and put me in the position I’m in today. 

Instagram: @blankartistery_ 

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Winner of the Leadership in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Award ($1,000)

Growing up, I knew I was interested in pursuing a career in engineering after watching the first Iron Man movie and being blown away at the possibilities of technology. Motivated by my drive to problem solve, discover, and compute, I started taking more tech-based courses at MGCI, which is when I noticed the drastic difference in gender ratios in the tech field. After consistently having only 2-3 female classmates across courses like computer science and computer engineering, I decided to start a coding club that specialized in teaching fellow female-identifying students how to code. The CodeHers’ team’s main goal was to close the gender gap in CS and engineering by offering accessible and beginner-friendly coding opportunities! 
Receiving this scholarship from the OGAA has inspired me to continue advocating for more women in STEM opportunities. It has also assisted in providing financial relief going into my first year at the University of Waterloo as a computer engineering student. I hope to establish my career as a computer engineer, so that I can support the amazing members of our community, just as the OGAA has done for myself and my peers.

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Winner of the MGCI/Overlea Alumni Award ($2,000)

Being a part of a community as tight knit as Thorncliffe has given me plenty of opportunities to be involved, and work with many people. Throughout high school, I found myself always gravitating towards extracurriculars and opportunities that would give me a platform to speak, and work on various concerns within my community. As such, I’ve developed a desire to pursue a career in which I can dedicate myself to making a difference in the lives of those around me. To achieve this goal, I am currently completing my undergraduate studies at McMaster University and aiming to pursue a career in medicine. After learning about the Overlea Garneau Alumni Association scholarship, I felt that this opportunity really spoke to me as a person who is passionate about working for my community. I hope to continue having a strong presence in my neighbourhood, and this scholarship will certainly enable me to further my education, playing a fundamental role in my success throughout university, and in my future career.  I’m confident that this will give me an even greater opportunity to give back in the future! I am very grateful to be a recipient of the OGAA scholarship, it’s truly an honour. 
Instagram: fatimagulab_ 
Facebook: Fatima Gulab 

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Winner of Undercover Kindness: The Defilia To & Vicky Xu Kindness Bursary ($500)

I first learned about the scholarships through the school guidance. The organization’s beliefs about inclusivity, kindness, leadership and compassion aligned with my personal views, which led me to apply. I’m extremely grateful for the Overlea Garneau Alumni Association and their scholarships which helped many students including myself pay for our tuition and worry less about expenses. 
I am currently attending the University of Waterloo for Management Engineering and I’m looking forward to starting my first Co op term, spring of 2022.

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Winner of the Dr. Hany Rafla Humanitarian Award ($1,500)

During the 2020-2021 school year, especially during a pandemic that seemed to put society on halt, I knew that financing my post-secondary education would be no easy feat. Therefore, after considering the extra-curriculars I have embarked on during my high school journey, I had decided to apply to the generous scholarship that was offered by the Overlea Garneau Alumni Association. Now, as I enter the University of Toronto as a member of the Life Sciences program, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have some of the financial burden lifted off my shoulders as a result of this scholarship. During my next four years at university, I plan to complete a double major in human biology and mental health studies in an attempt to pursue a career in medicine. Overall, I strive to be a part of a healthcare system that focuses on providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for the diverse individuals of our country. 
Instagram: @_prithika 

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During my time at Garneau, I became interested in the real-life applications of science and technology, and their presence in our everyday lives. Through volunteering with local food banks, planting trees in the Don Valley and my studies in the classroom, I became curious about how different systems that are integrated into society can be helpful or harmful. I am continuing my studies at the University of Waterloo in the Systems Design Engineering program. Going forward I want to explore human factors in design and how systems can be used to improve the lives of others. I am immensely grateful to have received the Abbas Kolia Community Leadership Award, as it will help to finance my future studies, especially since I hope to pursue a graduate degree.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisxquan

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Winner of the Leadership in Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Award ($1,000)

One thing that has always been important to me is community, and I have much respect for the Overlea Garneau Alumni Association and the work they do to help members of the community seek post secondary education. I applied for this scholarship as one of those aspiring community members, who had contributed time and effort both outside and inside of school to projects that I felt would be beneficial to those around me. Hoping to one day be able to give back to the community even more, I am now pursuing a program in the Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. Receiving this award has helped me get one step closer to that dream, even though at times it seemed unreachable. Going forward, I will try my best to continue to help those around me in any way I can.

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In the past four years of high school as a student, volunteer, and community activist, I have discovered that I have a deep interest in community work and science. This passion has led me to pursue my studies as a Life Sciences student at the University of Toronto and later pursue a career in the healthcare field as a general practitioner. Receiving the Ron Thorpe Science Award was something I’m immensely appreciative of as it will alleviate some financial burden as well as help me achieve my goals. I’m sincerely grateful to the wonderful sponsor and OGAA for making this possible.

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Winner of the Excellence in Visual Art ($250) and For the Love of Art ($250) Awards

I recently graduated from Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute and currently attend Ryerson University for photography studies. I initially was not aware of this award however, my photography teacher told me about it, and I am very grateful for the financial support and recognition. As for the future, I hope to continue growing as a photographer and finding ways to share my passion with others.

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Winner of the MGCI/Overlea Alumni Award ($2,000)

I’ve always been a firm believer that education goes beyond textbooks and diplomas. It’s what gives us the power to create the future we want for ourselves. It’s what gives us the knowledge to make a positive change in the world, and it’s what gives us the confidence and ability to help others when they need it. I am so grateful to be a recipient of the Overlea Garneau Alumni Award, and for the opportunity to study Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo. During my time in university and in the workplace, I aspire to explore my interests both deeply and broadly. I look forward to a future where I will have the opportunity to work with scientists in a variety of fields to improve our quality of life, and bring the applications of engineering to solve real problems and connect people on a global scale.

Instagram: @sophiee_yang



Winner of the Ron Thorpe Science Award ($1,000)


Winner of the Excellence in Visual Art Award ($250)


Winner of the Principal’s Award ($1,000)


Winner of the Greg Lang Business Award ($1000)


Winner of the Abbas Kolia Community Leadership Award ($500) and the Undercover Kindness: The Defilia To & Vicky Xu Kindness Bursary ($500)