2016 Ron Larkin Educational Fund Award Ceremony

This year’s Ron Larkin scholarship recipients have been selected and an upcoming ceremony will be held in their honour. The ten recipients live in OCH Communities and were selected based on their community involvement, their educational aspirations, and their personal achievements.

Where: Dr. F.J. McDonald Catholic School at 2860 Ahearn Ave. The event will be held in the gymnasium.

When: Wednesday, November 9th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

The evening’s itinerary will include short speeches from representatives of the OCH Foundation and the OCH Corporation. There will also be photo opportunities with the attending recipients, representatives of the OCH Foundation and Corporation, as well as City Councillors.

For more information, contact Bernie Dawson at bernie.dawson@ochfoundation.ca.

Listed below are this year’s recipients.

Abdillahi Saban

Accounting at the University of Ottawa

After pursuing his master’s degree, Abdillahi aspires to one day become a Director of Finance. Due to his hard work and dedication he has been granted 6.5k in scholarships and bursaries to contribute to his educational fund, not counting the Ron Larkin Scholarship. His commitment to his community is also impressive, having completed well over the required amount of high school volunteer hours during community events and initiatives. He is said to always see the strength in others and help them to realize their potential. Having taken his parents advice to pursue higher education, he now looks to launch a career in finance and to one day give back by providing financial advice in low income communities to help better their standards of living.

Aimée Chancelle Iradukunda

Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa

Aimee originates from Burundi and is one of five children in a single-parent home. Despite having had a rough start with her mother falling ill and also experiencing difficulties with immigration; she maintained her motivation to obtain all of her high school credits by taking online courses. Aimée is an avid volunteer, giving her time at such non-profit organizations as the Ottawa Food Bank and the Catholic Immigration Centre, and was able to surpass all of her 40 obligatory volunteer hours in the span of a mere 5 months. She intends to support her family by realizing her educational goals.

Antoinette Ntambwe

Psycho-Education at the University of Montreal

Antoinette is an exceptionally hard working student from the Britannia Woods community who is incredibly mature for her age, having helped her father raise her eight siblings. Her father’s perseverance and motivation served as motivation to pursue higher education. She is truly a positive person and a strong believer in not letting  financial difficulty hold her back from achieving her dreams.Her countless hours spent in the afterschool program in order to maintain an eighty percent average have paid off asshe has been accepted at the University of Montreal in Psycho-Education, making her the first of her siblings to attend University. Antoinette is also very active within her school; playing on multiple sports teams and also participating in numerous committees. She has proven time and time again to be a team leader, which her volleyball coach can attest to, and her goal is to one day start her own organization to support underprivileged student athletes.

Aysha Shahimi

Nursing at the University of Ottawa

Aysha Shahimi is a resident of the Rochester Heights community. She is a straight-A student and fluent in five languages. She will be attending the University of Ottawa Nursing program this fall and plans to continue on to obtain a PhD in Nursing. Her long-term career goal is to provide affordable healthcare to Canadian communities. Aysha and her sister are currently supporting their family residing in Ottawa as well as in Pakistan with their part-time jobs. Eighty percent of their pay check goes to their family in Pakistan to help the women pay for an education in order to get jobs and support themselves. Not only does she go out of her way to support her family, she also supports the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa and YOUCAN as a peer counsellor.

Hibo Buraleh

Social Service Worker at Algonquin College

Hibo is a poet, a resident of Britannia Woods, and an incredibly compassionate individual. When her neighbours’ house was damaged in a fire rendering them homeless, she created a fundraiser at her school called We FUNday and raised $990 to help the family. She is also extremely involved in school activities, such as student council, peer tutoring, clubs, and sports. One of her greatest achievements is creating the tradition of a Black History Month assembly at school which will be celebrated for years to come thanks to her efforts. Her volunteer experience goes beyond expectation, being a full time volunteer in her community and accumulating more than 1500 hours of volunteer work. She is also part of the Students Helping Our Communities (SHOC) Club, where she has showcased her creative abilities by organizing multiple fundraising events. She strives to make her community a safer place for women and youth by being involved in initiatives to provide neighbourhood standards regarding the issues of bullying and making public spaces safer for women.

Gabriela Campos

Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa

The Ron Larkin Scholarship will help Gabriela realize her dream of becoming a surgeon. As part of her journey, she participated in a coop placement at St. Vincent Hospital where her supervisors were quite impressed with her abilities. In addition to her exemplary work ethic, she has volunteered at CHEO and has taken on a pivotal role at her high school as a member of the Sources of Strength program. She organized “The Vault” (which offers clothing and toiletries for anyone in need) and has been working on introducing a dog therapy program.

Florentine Kayembe Enda

International Development at the University of Ottawa

Florentine lives in the Michelle Heights Community and is well known for her creativity. Holding art and literature dear to her heart, she aspires to write and publish a young adult fiction book and represent minorities through literature. She has devoted her time to a large number of volunteer initiatives and projects which include: Peer Support Club, M&M Mentoring program, Guatemala Stove Project, Pathways to Education program, and she is an active member of her church community. Despite already boasting an impressive track record of work in her community , Florentine remains very passionate and dedicated to gaining even more volunteer experience as she feels it enriches her life. She has experienced much hardship in her life, her father having died two years ago leaving her mother to raise and feed four daughters. Her truly positive and energetic personality makes her a natural leader and positive role model for the younger students.

Lisa Quesnel

Community Justice Services at Algonquin College

Lisa lives in the Blair Court community and is a single parent supporting three children; two of which have special needs and one with mental health issues. Her dream is to work with marginalized people, utilizing her own personal experiences and challenges including living in a shelter with her kids and overcoming abuse. Since becoming an OCH tenant 12 years ago she has become a strong advocate in her community, volunteering on the Board of Directors of Blair Court as Chair, working on initiatives such as Making Votes Count and Cities For All Women Initiatives (CAWI), as well as being a strong voice in the fight for a bus pass for low income individuals. Her commitment to social justice and countless volunteer hours will continue to contribute to making our city better and more inclusive.

Ranya Hormoz

Biochemistry & Chemical Engineering (Biotechnology) at the University of Ottawa

Ranya dreams to one day produce life-saving medicine by becoming a research scientist. As a young leader in her community, she mentors fellow students, creates fun activities for them, supervises M&M’s program and participates in the United Sisters Program. Her ability to balance her academics with her commitment to her communityhas shaped who she is today. Concerned for women’s rights in third world countries, she speaks out and advocates for those who do not have a voice of their own.

Sara Rwentambo

Neuroscience and Mental Health at Carleton University

Sara has been granted many awards for her academic achievements, including the Knights of Character Award (for which she was recommended by her school principal) and an award for maintaining outstanding academic standing. She is an active member of her school’s Environment Club where she spearheaded an initiative to install new recycling stations around her school as well as two school wide campaigns to reduce paper use and conserve electrical energy. She is also member of the school’s senior band, where she takes the time to mentor the younger students at the clarinet. Her community service endeavours include participating in Youth Futures and Ottawa Community Housing events. Sara has learned that setting goals for herself brings her closer to her community, leaning on friends and family for support while ultimately propelling herself forward. She motivates others to want to participate in volunteer initiatives as much as she does.