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Students win safety scholarships

July 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Scholarship Winners Photo

Scholarship winners pose with their plaques at the May 29th award ceremony in Chinatown. From left to right are Shanice Taylor, Danny Ampandu, Israel Ehimen, Zuberi Attard, and Angelina Pinto.

Police partner with community to make post-secondary education possible

By Gleaner Staff

Five local high school students received a scholarship last month from the Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) of the Toronto Police Service’s 14 Division.

Started in 2010, the CPLC Community Safety Scholarship awards each student $4,000 towards their post-secondary education, money that local universities, including the University of Toronto, York University, the Ontario College of Art and Design, George Brown College, as well Ryerson University, Humber College and Seneca College, will match in the second year of a recipient’s program.

“This is a life changing opportunity for these kids, who have faced real adversity and have rallied against that, and made real contributions to make their neighbourhoods safer places,” said CPLC scholarship coordinator Brian Burchell, who also publishes this paper.

The scholarship winners demonstrate financial need and an ability to succeed in a post-secondary academic environment. They have also volunteered in the community, and explain in their application how their contributions have made their community safer.

The scholarship is “a welcome opportunity to help young people who themselves are helping other young people,” said Staff Sergeant James Hogan of 14 Division. “Much of our work involves trying to repair damaged lives and communities, so to be able to assist the scholarship winners in building healthier communities is gratifying.”

No police budget monies contribute to the fund. Last year, donations from business improvement areas, the Canadian National Exhibition, foundations, individual businesses, and rank and file police officers brought in over $20,000.

An additional $20,000 was raised at a gala benefit at the Revival nightclub on College Street.

The scholarship is part of Investing in Our Diversity, a larger umbrella scholarship program that is administered by the Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC), which Burchell credits for making everything possible.

The program is “unique in that it recognizes contributions of young people to their communities and supports their goals for academic and professional success,” said Areej Hasso, the SCCC’s director of development. “The matching scholarship opportunity through our academic partners is also integral, as financial supports are carried forward into the recipients’ second year of studies.”

This year’s winners, Shanice Taylor, Danny Ampandu, Israel Ehimen, Zuberi Attard and Angelina Pinto, were chosen from a large applicant pool evaluated by a committee consisting of police officers and volunteers.

A grade twelve student at Marshall McLuhan Catholic Secondary School, Shanice Taylor hopes to enroll in the law clerk diploma program at the Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. An active and valued member of the community, she volunteers at the Macaulay Child Development Centre, and has organized a breakfast program for students. Shanice, who is inspired her mom’s strength in dealing with a disability brought on by a stroke, dreams of achieving a career in the field of law.

Similarly inspired to soar academically by a parent, Danny Ampadu attended Central Technical School where he improved his average grades by 20 per cent after his father passed away from cancer. Active in his school’s social justice groups, he has participated in the Me to We campaign, volunteered for Free the Children, and contributed to the revitalization of Lawrence Heights. The first person in his family to pursue a post-secondary degree, Danny will study law and business at Ryerson University.

Israel Ehimen is, like Danny, highly involved at his high school. Arriving on his own to Canada as a refugee from Nigeria in January 2012, Israel attends Central Commerce Collegiate. He supports himself, yet still gives to his community through his church. Israel wants to study engineering at university.

Also a student of Central Commerce Collegiate, Zuberi Attard organized clothing and food drives to create opportunities for diverse and marginalized students at his school, and joined the Policy Leadership Lab. He delivers harm reduction workshops for youth, and works as a peer educator at St. Stephen’s Community House. He plans to study political science when starts at Carleton University in the fall.

Angelina Pinto shares Zuberi’s leadership skills. As student council president at St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School, she worked with a team of students to stage the school’s biggest event, which was aimed at highlighting diversity and included Rebuilding the Philippines One Brick at a Time, which raised funds following Typhoon Haiyan. Angelina plans to study criminology at Ryerson University.


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