Scholarship program recognizes 56 outstanding students from across Toronto

Scholarship program recognizes 56 outstanding students from across Toronto

June 19, 2017

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Toronto Community Housing youth take home 2017 IIOD Scholarships 
IIOD_8.jpg 
Guests and recipients attend the 2017 Investing in Our Diveristy gala at Dim Sum King.


Toronto Community Housing tenants, city councillors, sponsors and partners from across Toronto gathered on the evening of June 8 to celebrate a very special group of 56 remarkable young students.

Guests and leaders attended the 2017 Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship gala, a night to recognize the brightest young minds across Toronto. ​

The Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship​ is an annual scholarship program that recognizes students for their academic achievements and contributions to thier community. The program awards scholarships of up to $4,000 to students attending university, college, training or apprenticeship programs in Toronto.   

Toronto Community Housing CEO Kevin Marshman and Scadding Court Community Centre Executive Director Kevin Lee enjoy the IIODgala Toronto Community Housing CEO Kevin Marshman and Scadding Court Community Centre Executive Director Kevin Lee enjoy the 2017 Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship g​ala.

Now in its 16th year, the scholarship program is a joint partnership between Toronto Community Housing and Scadding Court Community Centre​. Since its inception, the program has awarded more than than $1,113,000 in scholarships to 418 students from across Toronto.

This year's program awarded postsecondary scholarships to 56 outstanding young students from across Toronto, helping them pay for postsecondary tuition and educational costs such as books, laptops and transportation.

Thank you to our generous sponsors and partners!

The co-title sponsors of this year's scholarship were Scotiabank, Sinai Health System​ and Tridel. We would like to thank them for their continued financial support of this program.  

Other partners and sponsors included Blaney McMurtry LLP, the Community Police Liaison Committees of 14, 22 and 41 Divisions, Danforth East Community Association, Dentons, Unifor, Storstac​, and the University Health Network

Partners and sponsors mingle with scholarship recipients and community leaders. Partners and sponsors mingle with scholarship recipients and community leaders. 

Our academic partners—George Brown College, Humber College​, Ontario College of Art and Design University, Ryerson University, Seneca College, University of Toronto, York University—also offer scholarship winners the opportunity to earn a matching postsecondary scholarship in their second year.​​

2017 IIOD gala

The scholarship gala was a chance to recognize students for their outstanding achievements and give sponsors and donors a chance to meet with scholarship recipients. The gala was hosted by Farley Flex and Ceta Ramkhalawansingh and included an awards ceremony, a live auction and an interactive social media photo booth. 
Guests and recipients enjoy the 2017 IIOD Gala at Dim Sum King restaurant. Guests and recipients enjoy the 2017 IIOD gala at Dim Sum King restaurant.

Looking around the room, one saw proud parents, partners, sponsors, donors, past recipients and elected officials, including Councillors Joe Cressy​ and Mike Layton and MP Adam Vaughan.

But the real stars of the show were the students themselves. This year's list of scholarship recipients included future doctors, aerospace engineers, chefs and plumbers, all eager to build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. ​​
 Students from across Toronto were recognized for the outstanding academic achievements and community service. Students from across Toronto were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and community service. 

Many were excited to begin the next phase of their careers and start their first year at university or college. Take a peek at a few of their stories. 

​​Meet some of our scholarship recipients ​​​​

Déjon Fletcher, 18 years old
Picture of IIOD Scholarship winner Déjon Fletcher.
Déjon Fletcher is an active young man within his community. From employment to volunteer opportunities, Déjon has always worked hard to inspire other youth living in Toronto Community Housing to live to their full potential. 

Déjon is a YouthWorx​ alumnus, having spent multiple summers working for Toronto Community Housing, assisting with small repair work and the beautification of communities. He was also an assistant coach at his high school's CBA program and volunteered at École Rawlinson as a tutor.

Déjon will be attending Humber College to study Plumbing Techniques and aspires to become a plumber. Growing up in a single parent home and being a role model to other youth living in Toronto Community Housing has​ inspired him to pursue postsecondary education. 

Zahra Abdi, 17 years old
Picture of IIOD Scholarship winner Zahra Abdi.
Zahra Abdi is bright young woman with an open heart who aims to lift up her fellow peers. She strongly believes that everyone should be accepted for who they are and that people should build each other up instead of tearing each other down. As a student at Weston Collegiate Institute, she became involved with the Queer Straight Alliance.

In September, Zahra plans to study Early Childhood Education at Humber College​, and ultimately work with children with special needs. Her cousin, Abukar Ahmed, is also a 2017 Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship recipient.

Marina Guadagnoli, 20 years old
Picture of IIOD Scholarship winner Marina Guadagnoli.
​Marina Guadagnoli is an energetic, confident young woman who excels in academics and is a leader in her community. Marina was involved in many school functions and charity events while attending Western Technical. Marina also participated in the Walk for Water, performed at multicultural events and won a gold medal for her school in the Skills Canada​ baking competition. She is very involved in her community church, volunteering whenever there is need.


In September, Marina will study Baking and Pastry Management at George Brown College​ in hopes of becoming a successful pastry chef. Marina is inspired by "Cake Boss," Buddy Valastro.

Congratulations!

We would like to congratulate this year's scholarship recipients. We wish them the best of luck in achieving their academic and professional goals!