2018 Scholarship Recipients

Monica Basilli
Dr. Charles Best Secondary School, Coquitlam, British Columbia
University of Alberta

Monica founded the Force of Nature Club, which promotes fair and just treatment of Indigenous groups in British Columbia. She is a member of the Youth Arts council and helps foster inclusive dialogue within and between marginalized communities. Monica is an active volunteer with her school’s UNHCR club as a fundraiser and translator. She also works with Coquitlam Heritage to teach about the history of discrimination and colonization in her community.


Zoe Bertrand

Zoe Bertrand
Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Beamsville, Ontario
McGill University

As the founder of BT Pride, a Gay-Straight Alliance, Zoe has led several anti-bullying campaigns as well as helped establish gender-neutral washrooms in her school. She is a volunteer mentor at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, where she helps peers build self-confidence and leadership skills. Zoe is a member of the Niagara Public Health Youth Advisory Committee and advocates for LGBTQ + youth by ensuring that their voices are present during public health discussions.


Rylie EssingtonRylie Essington
West Island College, Calgary, Alberta
Queen’s University

As the sole creator of her school’s first Peer Mentorship Program, Rylie has made significant contributions to the well-being of students in her community. She has successfully developed an anti-bullying framework that pairs mentors and mentees together in order to build empathy and meaningful relationships amongst students. With the support of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, she arranged multiple workshops within the school on mentorship training and living with mental illness.


Reese FindlerReese Findler
Seycove Secondary School, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Simon Fraser University

As the sole organizer of the sold-out benefit concert “Perform for Pride,” Reese raised close to $2,500 for Rainbow Refugee, a community group that supports persecuted LGBTQ+ asylum-seekers. She is the co-president of her school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance, which helped establish the first gender-neutral washroom in the district. In addition, she helped create Catch the Flow, a charity that partners with local women’s organizations and ensures equitable access to menstrual products.


Emma JohnstonEmma Johnston
Churchill Secondary School, Vancouver, British Columbia

Emma is a peer tutor who also helps support displaced youth from conflict regions as they resettle in Canada as refugees. She is co-founder of the We Believe in Pink Club, a service club that supports women in Vancouver’s inner-city neighbourhood. The club hosted various events that raise awareness of extreme poverty and commercial gentrification. In addition, Emma coordinates workshops and events on international social justice issues through the UNICEF Club.


Emily LamEmily Lam
Dr. Charles Best Secondary School, Coquitlam, British Columbia
Simon Fraser University

Emily is a trailblazer who has participated in projects ranging from participation in her school’s UN Refugee Club to Peer Counseling. She received national recognition for her work spearheading a community-wide campaign to create a library at a local alternative high school. She is also the creator of a website that addresses gender inequity and provides education on intersectionality, a collaboration that she developed with the support of local community experts in gender studies.

Vanessa LewisVanessa Lewis
St. Mary Catholic High School, Pickering, Ontario
Carleton University

As a member of First Nations/Métis/Inuit (FMI) Awareness, Alliance for Compassion, and the Black History Student Committee, Vanessa has dedicated her high school years to amplifying the voices of all students in her community. Through FMI Awareness, she has organized campaigns to recognize missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. She has led drives for homeless LGBTQ+ youth and has continuously strived to foster a school community in which everyone belongs.


Justin MoorlockJustin Morlock
Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, Red Deer, Alberta
University of Alberta

Justin is a founding member of the City Wide Student Advisory Council, which meets with the Board of Trustees bi-monthly in order to engage diverse student voices in the development of educational policy. He has been instrumental in the establishment of the district’s LGBTQ Policy, which has been ranked the best in the province by Public Service Alberta. In addition, Justin spent his high school years tutoring ESL students, many of whom were refugees.


Ravicha RavinthiranRavicha Ravinthiran
Victoria Park Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario
University of Waterloo

Ravicha is the founder of the FEM Project, a community-focused approach to gender equity. Through FEM, young women are given a space to attend workshops and build the confidence necessary to lead community projects ranging from environmental stewardship to mental health. As an advocate of Reconciliation, Ravicha has hosted a conference on Indigenous history led by Indigenous speakers. Her initiatives aim to encourage fellow community leaders to be agents of change.


Airoh WalkerAiroh Walker
Orillia Secondary School, Elmvale, Ontario
University of Toronto – Mississauga Campus

Airoh is a member of their school’s equity team, Airoh has delivered professional development workshops to principals and educators on creating safe spaces for transgender and nonbinary youth. They have led several anti-bullying and mental wellness initiatives in their school while also delivering speeches for events run by CMHA. Through their own visibility as a trans student, Airoh works to create inclusion for all students who seek to redefine social norms.