Meet Taneikah

TaneikahTaneikah was awarded a 2016 OCUF Youth Bursary. She is a 1st year student at George Brown College enrolled in their Games Development program.

A life long volunteer, Taneikah has been very involved helping out at her elementary and high schools. Her tasks have been varied, from supervising children prekindergarten to grade eight. She volunteered at nursing homes, singing and playing the piano to residents. Taneikah was a Specialist High Skills student for Arts & Culture at her high school. Her duties consisted of helping at numerous school functions. You could find her operating the sound system, filming, or doing photography. She also designed the t-shirts for her school’s dance team, designed posters for the dance program, and designed flyers for a local restaurant. She has also volunteered demonstrating to other students at another school how to utilize cameras and Photoshop.

We wish you the best utilizing your creative skills and life experiences to the games development program.

Meet Isaac

IssacIsaac was awarded a 2016 OCUF Youth Bursary. He is a 4th year student at the University of Toronto where he is pursuing a Health Studies (BSc) and International Development (BA) African Studies Minor.

Isaac shared a story of a troubled past with much adversity. He writes: I became involved with care when I was twelve, and from this point all the way to my 18th birthday was marked by mistakes, struggles, violence, and pain. First living at a shelter, then progressing to group homes and foster homes, I was exposed to a lot of harsh realities and social ills in my downtown Kitchener residences. Fast forwarding to seventeen years old, I then had make a choice of a continual cycle of involvement in the system, or using the intelligence and drive I always knew I had and trying something different. I was able to achieve higher averages in my final grade 11 and 12 classes, and
when I graduated from CALC in 2012, I finished an ‘Ontario Scholar’ for achieving and average of over 80% in my University level credits (despite bouncing around over five high schools).

Issac said, “My story is powerful in that every opportunity such as this bursary can become part of it, showing youth that not only is it possible to make it to the best institutions in Canada as a racialized, marginalized, and counter-culture individual, but that their are also agencies, organizations, and foundations willing to support your dreams along the way.”

Issac on behalf of our donors and supporters we are proud to assist you in your journey. We know your perseverance will one day have you designing those building you dream about.

Meet Miya

MiyaMiya was awarded a 2016 OCUF Youth Bursary. She is a 1st year student at the University of Ottawa where she is enrolled in an honours Bachelor of Science program.

In her application Miya details challenges she faced growing up, and how she encountered a number of “silver linings” as she describes them. Miya attended a musical theatre camp, which
blossomed into the beginnings of a competitive classical vocal performance and musical theatre career, with leading roles in West Side Story, The Last Five Years, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and a supporting role in the Little Mermaid.

She had a passion for sports; soccer, track and field, cross country, basketball, and volleyball. Volleyball emerged as her sport of choice, playing on a competitive travel club for six years.

Clearly Miya has taken full advantage of the silver linings that came her way. As she put it “My life has been scattered with both hardships and extreme generosity of mentorship and spirit.” She summed up her application by saying, “I want to help people directly, across Canada and the entire globe should the opportunity arise, with my own hands and efforts, when they are challenged or oppressed by poverty, illness, or ignorance, or when and it seems nearly impossible to find their own silver linings.”

Meet Muhammad

MuhammadMuhammad  is a 1st year Schulich School of Business student at York University and a 2016 OCUF Youth Bursary recipient.

It should not be surprising when you offer a bursary based on financial need and giving back to the community that we would receive so many quality submissions. In this case we could have added scholastic merit and Muhammad would have been right at the top there too!

Muhammad in his applications stated, “I am determined to be a type of person who balances their work life with family life with social life. By social life, I do not mean being connected to friends with apps, but mean to be able to give back to the community and work alongside charities to make a difference in the world. Giving back to others is our prime purpose of life, and I believe that volunteering should not be measured in quantity as it should come from the heart. The thoughts and mindset behind the actions should be considered.”

His list of past volunteer experience was almost the same as his current volunteer activities. Clearly this is an individual who has been able to find balance to do well academically while finding time to help others. Our world is enhanced by people like Muhammad.

Meet Michelle

MichelleMichelle  is a 1st year Honours Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo. She was awarded a 2016 OCUF Youth Bursary and is a member of DUCA.

In her words – As an aspiring computer scientist, I would like to have a career that will improve the lives of others after graduating from university. A specific field of computer science that I would like to study as an undergraduate student is Machine Learning, which is the study of developing algorithms to let machines learn from information on their own (without being explicitly programmed). The Machine Learning field is responsible for many useful products found in everyday life, such as software to prevent fraud during online banking and purchases. Machine Learning is also responsible for products that may be found in the everyday lives of future generations, such as the Google self-driving cars.

As a volunteer, I also believe it is important for students to be involved in their community in order to have a better understanding of problems and issues facing the community. For example, I have volunteered at school events such as bake sales and caroling, in order to raise money for ROCK, a charity dedicated to improving mental health in the Halton Region. I have also volunteered at food drives for Second Harvest, a program that delivers food (that would otherwise be wasted) to people in Toronto who are in need.