By Lincoln DePradine
Cancellation of in-class learning, with schools forced into virtual teaching because of the Coronavirus pandemic, didn’t deter some students from diligently pursuing their academic dreams.
Now, 13 of them – high school students in Peel Region – are about to be rewarded for their efforts by the Brampton-based United Achievers Club (UAC). They have been selected as 2021 UAC scholarship recipients.
“In spite of COVID, these kids have persevered to be at the top of their classes,’’ UAC president Marva Hemmings told The Caribbean Camera. “So, we’re excited about that; that we still have kids that are so goal-oriented that they would not let anything stop them.’’
The United Achievers Club of Brampton Inc. was established in 1980 by Canadians of Black and Caribbean heritage. The UAC’s objectives include raising the “profile and consciousness of Black and Caribbean communities in the wider society’’; and also providing “effective and meaningful role models’’ for young people.
The students’ presentation at this scholarship awards’ ceremony – the 37th in the club’s history – will be hosted online from 7 pm, Saturday, September 18.
Each scholarship is worth $1,000. The money was collected through various initiatives including donations, UAC fundraising, and sponsorship from Peel Region Police, past scholarships recipients and other individuals and organizations, said Jamaican-born Hemmings.
“We’re looking for more sponsors, more community support and a lot more volunteers to be a part of the United Achievers Club,’’ she said.
The annual scholarship awards, according to Hemmings, has become one of the “most important projects’’ of the UAC.
This year’s recipients are due to begin studies next month at institutions such as York University, University of Ottawa, Western University and McMaster University.
“We’re showcasing that even in a pandemic, our children can still study and show themselves approved to be able to go on to university,’’ said Hemmings.
“The pandemic has come but a lot of our kids have not let it divert them from their goals of whatever they want to be. There are students that want to be police officers, some want to be lawyers, some want to be nurses and doctors.’’
Carole Walker, one of the first three UAC scholarship recipients at the program launch in 1985, will be keynote speaker at next month’s awards ceremony, Hemmings said.
Walker, who holds professional designations as a certified public accountant and a certified general accountant, now is a senior tax manager at Ryan ULC. The company’s services include accounting, tax preparation, Tax recovery, bookkeeping and management consulting.
For additional information on UAC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-796-1916.