Opterus Inc. – the leading global provider of cost-effective, easy-to-implement retail store information and execution management solutions that have become renowned for increasing productivity and improving retail enterprise communications – is excited to announce this year’s winners of its ‘Rebel with a Cause’ scholarship awards.

Founded to highlight and empower accomplished young women between the ages of 16-28 who are pursuing a STEM education or artistic ventures, the Opterus Helen Rose STEM Award and the Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award were inspired by the memory of one of the Opterus Founders, Janet Hawkins’ mother, Dr. Helen McKilligin, and sister, Valerie Ann Hawkins, respectively. Each of the scholarships provide $10,000 to recipients to support their studies at accredited Canadian universities or colleges.

The Opterus Helen Rose STEM award

The Opterus Helen Rose STEM Award winner is Audrey Massender, a 27-year-old nurse who works in an Ottawa-area hospital’s intensive care unit. Her experience and recent events have sparked a passion to train other nurses and health care professionals to have a better emphasis on mental health and resiliency, resulting in a decision to go back to school and pursue a master’s degree in health professionals’ education at Queen’s University. As she told the review committee, “More care needs to be given to those who care for others, and I am determined to make that come to fruition. I truly never in a million years believed I would receive a scholarship validating my efforts to better my profession. To receive an award in memory of someone as awe inspiring as Dr. McKilligin is an unbelievable honor and privilege. The lasting, life changing impacts she made for women’s health and rights is an inspiration and the kind of positive change I will aspire to make within my own field. Thank you for this incredible opportunity and I promise I will continue to be a rebel with a cause.”

The Opterus Valerie Ann Arts award

The Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award winner is Elan Adamson, who plans to use the scholarship to support her pursuit of a master’s degree in psychology as she builds a career in counseling with a focus in arts therapy practices. “This gift has lightened the financial burden tremendously, making it possible for me to focus on my studies. My goal as not only a counsellor but as a human being is to tune into the strong, passionate, and creative frequency that Valerie Ann Hawkins was described as embodying. Hearing about the true joy, sense of fun, and lust for life she shared with everyone who had the privilege of knowing her has inspired me to strive to be a “Valerie” in as many lives as I possibly can. I can’t wait to begin my journey as a therapist and to uphold Valerie’s legacy of creating a new mindset for a better world.”

“I am thrilled that we were able to offer these scholarships for the third year in a row now,” says Janet Hawkins, the Founder and CEO of Opterus. “We had more than 3,000 applicants this year, and although it’s always tough to choose recipients, Elan and Audrey stood out. I loved being able to phone them and let them know that they won their respective scholarships; both of their reactions confirmed to me that we made the right choice, and I’m confident that they will do incredible things with all they have in store.”

To learn more about Opterus and each scholarship, click here.

About Opterus Inc.

Opterus Inc. is a leading global provider of a cost-effective, easy-to-implement retail store information and execution management solution that increases productivity and improves retail enterprise communications. Opterus’ OPSCENTER software is an on-demand, web- based retail portal designed to communicate corporate policy and day-to-day objectives between corporate office and store locations. Deployed in over 45 countries in 30 different languages, the solution is specifically designed for retail operations and provides store personnel with clear, concise, and timely direction, along with the proper tools to best do their jobs to support corporate initiatives. Opterus is based in Toronto, Ontario, and was founded in 2006 by a group of seasoned retail industry technology veterans.

For additional information about Opterus, please visit http://www.opterus.com.