Each of the five winners of the 2020 Student Achievement Awards will take home a $2,000 award from the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC). These annual scholarships support First Nations students studying any STEM field.
Two general awards are available for students in any STEM program. Further, there are three awards for engineering, water and wastewater engineering, and architecture.
This year, the five winners were Chantel Desrochers, Megan Laroche, Aaryn Zoccole, Sterling George, and Bohdana Innes. Let's meet them!
Student Achievement Awards in STEM
Student Achievement Awards honour Indigenous students enrolled in a STEM program in college or university.
Chantel studies climate monitoring and Indigenous relations at Laurentian University. She's a member of the Beausoleil First Nation and works as Community Climate Monitoring Liaison in the Lands and Resources Department in Sudbury.
Megan studies the environment at Cambrian College. She's a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, and when she graduates next year, she hopes to facilitate mediations between her Nation's Environment department and outside development corporations.
Robert Olivier Award in Engineering
The Robert Olivier award honours the memory of Robert Maurice Olivier, and is presented to a student in any engineering specialization.
Aaryn is entering her first year of mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto this fall. She's lived in many First Nations communities, and has spent the past few years in Wikwemikong Unceded Territory. She spends all her free time with her school's robotics team, which this year placed in the top three at a global robotics competition.
Derrick Kamanga Memorial Award in Water and Wastewater Engineering
The Derrick Kamanga award honours the memory of Derrick Kamanga, who made big strides in bringing fresh drinking water to First Nations communities. It supports students in the field of water and wastewater engineering.
Sterling's heading into his second year of civil engineering at Western University. His roots are split between Fort Erie and Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. This summer, he interned with MIG Engineering in Sarnia.
Jay Benedict Memorial Award in Architecture and Housing
The Jay Benedict Memorial Award is new for 2020, in memory of the late OFNTSC board member Jay Benedict. The award supports students pursuing a career in architecture or housing.
Bohdana is pursuing her masters of architecture at Laurentian, and hails from Wawa, Ontario, where she split her time between Wawa and Moose Factory. Her dream is to build an all-Indigenous architecture firm to work with First Nations communities across Ontario and the country. When she graduates in 2022, she'll be one of only 20 Indigenous architects in Canada.
These five annual awards from OFNTSC go a long way towards supporting Indigenous youth in Ontario to pursue the STEM careers of their dreams.
The Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation offers technical advisory services to Indigenous communities on issues like infrastructure, the environment, and water treatment.
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