Today, the Canadian Hearing Society awarded a record 17 scholarships guaranteed for up to four years to Deaf and hard of hearing post-secondary students. The CHS National Scholarship Program helps to break down financial barriers for students who are often excluded from the full academic experience because of added accessibility costs, and makes it possible for these exceptional students to pursue their dream careers.
“Each CHS scholarship winner has demonstrated incredible resilience, drive and determination to transform the future for themselves, their families and all Canadians through the power of education,” says Julia Dumanian, President and CEO of the Canadian Hearing Society. “We are grateful to our supporters for helping us make these students’ academic dreams come true.”
A committee of Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing business leaders and academics reviewed applications from across Canada to determine this year’s scholarship recipients. Winners are chosen based on key criteria, including community service, letters of reference and essays detailing how the scholarship will transform the future of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Students who are eligible will be guaranteed full-time scholarships of $3,000 a year for up to four years.
“I was profoundly moved and inspired by each student’s essay,” says Committee Chair Diane Gregoris. “We are proud to support our 17 CHS National Scholarship winners and look forward to cheering them on throughout their academic journeys.”
CHS would like to thank the National Scholarship Committee for participating in the application review process. Special thanks to Diane Gregoris, 2019-2020 Chair; Dr. Linda Campbell, Past Chair; Brahm Spilfogel; Jim Kyte; Lynn Lockhart-Menzies; Nigel Howard; Pam Feldman; and Rex Banks.
National Scholarship Program Funders
The names of the 2019 scholarship recipients were announced earlier today at the 4th Annual CHS President’s Scholarship Golf Tournament where all proceeds are directed back to support the National Scholarship Program.
CHS gratefully acknowledges the support of our scholarship funders: the Dr. Wolf Lebovic Charitable Foundation, the Canadian Foundation For Physically Disabled Persons, the Longo's Family Charitable Foundation, the John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Foundation, the Walker Wood Foundation, Beutel Goodman Charitable Foundation and all of our individual donors, Tournament Corporate Partners and participants.
Meet The Award Winners
Adedotun Adeyemi is from Windsor, ON and is studying Liberal Arts and Software Engineering at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He is the only hard of hearing person in his family and says his positive attitude, determination and perseverance have helped him to become a courageous and mentally strong student. The CHS National Scholarship will help him with tuition costs so he can do well in school and get a great job that will encourage other Deaf and hard of hearing students to achieve their goals despite whatever challenges they may face.
Alessandra Iacovone is from Toronto, ON and is in her third year of Sociology at Ryerson University. During her past two years at university, she has learned that students who are Deaf and hard of hearing face unique barriers to education. The CHS National Scholarship will help ease the financial burden of university as she works towards creating a brighter future for herself and becoming a positive role model for others who face barriers.
Brittney Trimming is from Leduc, AB and is enrolled in the Occupational and Physical Therapist Assistant program at Red Deer College. Brittney juggles working and helping at home with pursuing her dream of completing her post-secondary education. The CHS National Scholarship will help pay for residence while she is away from home and ease her family’s financial burden. Brittney hopes to one day work with people with disabilities and be an advocate for the Deaf community by sharing her language and experiences.
Claire Vandesande is from Ottawa, ON and is in her first year of the Bachelor of Science program at Queen’s University. After developing a hearing loss, she challenged herself to learn new ways to communicate and navigate in a world that had become a constant puzzle. The CHS National Scholarship will help pay for her studies as she pursues a career as an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor with Doctors Without Borders and World Wide Hearing. She hopes to advocate for Deaf and hard of hearing communities around the world.
Corinna Den Dekker is from London, ON and is in her final year of her program majoring in Disability Studies and minoring in Women’s Studies at King’s University College at Western University. She identifies strongly as a Deaf woman and wants to contribute to both communities. The CHS National Scholarship helps ease the financial burden of tuition and other academic needs, allowing her to focus entirely on her studies as she works towards her goal of improving accessibility and a better quality of life for the Deaf community.
Emma Kyte is from Carp, ON and is studying Human Kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University. One of five Deaf family members, she has three siblings in university so the CHS National Scholarship provides financial support for the whole family. She is proud to be a part of the Deaf community and hopes to become an audiologist or a specialized teacher and work with students who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
Enrique Quintanilla-Riviere is from London, ON and is entering his third year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Western University and Fanshawe College. While he faces challenges in school with hearing loss, he tries to collaborate with teachers and students to get the help he needs. He says a positive attitude and being patient and kind go a long way in a health care setting. The CHS National Scholarship helps to ease the financial burden of post-secondary school and has helped pay for specialized equipment such as an FM system and an amplified stethoscope. He is currently considering specializing in the fields of neurology or cardiovascular medicine.
Erick Sturm is from Mississauga, ON and is entering the Architecture program at Laurentian University. Erick has persevered through mainstream classes with the support of one special, understanding teacher who taught Erick to become a strong advocate for himself. Erick’s determination landed him on the honour roll throughout high school. His goal is to design homes and buildings that are accessible for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
Esme Newling is from Fredericton, NB and is entering her second year of her program majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Forensic Science at the University of Toronto. Navigating university has been an enormous adjustment. For Esme, the CHS National Scholarship will be invested in new communication supports, including ASL classes and an interpreter for classes. It will also help ease the overall financial burden of post-secondary education. Esme is excited to be a pioneer in a field she believes has limited Deaf representation.
Jooah Bae is from Nanaimo, BC and is studying Computer Science and Health Information Science at the University of Victoria. When Jooah was 12, her family immigrated to Canada so she would have more opportunities as someone who is Deaf. The CHS National Scholarship will lessen the overall financial burden of post-secondary education for her and her family as she enters her first year of post-secondary education.
Joshua Gomes is from Cambridge, ON and is studying Engineering at Carleton University. Josh is currently enjoying his first co-op placement at the university teaching engineering concepts to local students. The CHS National Scholarship has not only helped pay for part of his education, but has been invested in hearing aids, an FM system and assistive living technologies, including a fire alarm system and bed shaker. Josh aspires to be the voice of change for accessibility. He is proud to be receiving this award for the third time.
Justine Nguyen is from Calgary, AB and is majoring in Business Administration and Human Resource Management at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. The CHS National Scholarship will help her pay for her tuition and living expenses, allowing her to focus entirely on her academics. Her future aspirations are to help employers recognize the need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Laurel Bown is from Toronto, ON and is in Graduate Studies in Health Policy, Management & Evaluation with a focus on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the University of Toronto. Laurel works as an Emergency Department nurse at a leading Canadian children’s hospital where she is focused on improving the patient experience. The CHS National Scholarship will help her to become an expert in quality improvement and patient safety, and remove barriers for patients and their families who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
Marco Chiaramonte is from Vancouver, BC and is a second-year graduate student in the Community Development program at the University of Victoria. Marco has worked as an Employment Counsellor Team Lead for the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The CHS National Scholarship will allow him to further his education and pursue his goal of working in policy development to improve the lives of people with disabilities at work, at home and in their community.
Marie-Claire Gagnon is from Chicoutimi, QC and is studying Psychology at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. The CHS National Scholarship will help relieve the pressure from having to work while going to school, allowing her to put all her energy into her studies. For Marie-Claire, the scholarship reinforces that there are people who believe in Deaf and hard of hearing students and their ability to fulfill their dreams.
Sarah Savoie is from Ingersoll, ON and is studying Human Resources Management at Fanshawe College. Sarah is determined to overcome the barriers to participation that Deaf and hard of hearing people often face. She has always been a strong self-advocate, which is what motivates her to work towards improving accessibility for everyone. This is her second time receiving the CHS National Scholarship, which will allow her to continue her post-secondary studies so she can keep advocating for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Zachary Sturm is from Mississauga, ON and is enrolled in the Social Service Worker program at Fleming College. Zachary is very active in the Deaf community with VOICE, an organization that advocates and supports families with children who have hearing loss. The CHS National Scholarship will help pay for part of his education and an interpreter. His goal is to become a social worker for children who are Deaf and hard of hearing.
About the Canadian Hearing Society National Scholarship Program Fund
The CHS National Scholarship Program is uniquely inclusive of Deaf and hard of hearing students of all abilities. Winners are chosen based on key criteria, including community service, letters of reference and essays detailing how the scholarship will transform the future of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Scholarships are available for undergraduate and graduate students, including mature students attending accredited post-secondary institutions inside or outside of Canada. Students that receive funding remain eligible for the same level of funding for up to four years. For more information, visit www.chs.ca/scholarships.
About the Canadian Hearing Society
Trusted since 1940, the Canadian Hearing Society provides industry-leading services, programs and products to Deaf and hard of hearing Canadians to ensure barrier-free access and increased quality of life. It is an independent, registered non-profit organization that reinvests proceeds from product and program sales back into community services, the focus of the organization. Recognizing our ongoing commitment to providing world-class health care and social services, the Canadian Hearing Society was awarded Primer status from Accreditation Canada in July 2018. For more information about CHS services, visit www.chs.ca or call 1-866-518-0000.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Canadian Hearing Society