We're thrilled to announce the 2022 Bill 7 Award recipients! This year, thanks to the support of corporate and individual donors, we offered 23 students a Bill 7 Award — our biggest year yet! We couldn't offer such an incredible scholarship program without the generous, ongoing support of our corporate and individual donors.
These amazing donors include our premier corporate donor, RBC Royal Bank, as well as event sponsors IBM, EY, McMillan LLP, and IGM Financial — not to mention corporate and community donors, the Community One Foundation, and the King Baudouin Foundation, plus Toronto's own Left Field Brewery.
Plus, of course, our dozens of individual donors, who collectively give tens of thousands of dollars every year to support these scholarships. Let's give a big hand to our donors!
2022 Bill 7 Award recipients
Now, onto the recipients!
Multi-year Bill 7 scholarships
Our first four names all received a multi-year scholarship! Big thanks to our premier corporate donor, RBC, for making a five year committment, allowing the Bill 7 Award Trust to establish these renewable awards.
Adryan Korzen, now in his fourth year of medical sciences at Western University, returns for the final time. Adryan was the first recipient of a multi-year scholarship: Adryan's enjoyed support from the Bill 7 Award Trust since 2019! His mom was in attendance at the event for the first time, bursting with pride.
Fashola Rasheedat, in her third year at the University of Toronto studying life sciences — specifically, human biology and neuroscience — also received a multi-year scholarship. She spoke about shedding light on issues facing the LGBTQ+ community as a means of seeking equality and justice.
Melinda de L'Eveille also returned as a multi-year scholarship recipient. Previously, she was at Humber College, studying film and television — but as of this year, she's changed tack, enrolling in the Journalism program at St. Clair College, where she met the love of her life!
Arjun Kaira received the final multi-year scholarship for 2022. Arjun's in his first year at Toronto Metropolitan University, studying acting and performance. He's a volunteer with Indus Community Services, and works as an artist, promoting LGBTQ+ narratives to a global audience.
One-time Bill 7 scholarships
Our remaining recipients each received a one-time scholarship thanks to the generous support of our wonderful donors. Let's meet these incredible students:
Miles Clark is in his third year at Toronto Metropolitan University, where he studies media production. Miles has a long history of volunteerism, including with PFLAG and the 519. Miles has been out as a trans man nearly ten years now, and thanks his parents for being so accepting and supportive.
Kaitlyn Carswell is another Toronto Metropolitan University student: she's in her first year of professional communication. She's a passionate advocate for social justice, and gave thanks to friends, family, and donors. She aims to give everyone a seat at the table, in contrast to her own experience growing up.
Chompel Negi, in his first year of Western University's social sciences program, was unable to attend the event. His passion is serving racialized groups and helping those suffering poverty worldwide.
Sid Sachdeva, in his first year of astronomy and physics at York University, hopes to be the world's first openly gay brown astronaut, and even managed to get the whole audience laughing at math jokes! Sid arrived in Canada four years ago, and fell in love with its people along the way.
Meya Mitsopoulos Powell is in her second year of art and art history at the University of Toronto. Her goal is to strengthen representation of black queers in art.
Benji Smith, a trans man in his first year of the English program at Toronto Metropolitan University, talked about being warmly accepted by his GF and her family, who even made a "Benji" Christmas stocking for him this year. He's grateful to be living the life he wants.
Gwyneth Sagayno (they/them) is in their third year of a BA in History from York University. As a first-generation Canadian, and child of a teen mom, they faced bigotry and neglect throughout their life. At seven years old, they realized they wanted to look like a boy — it took twenty years, but that's okay! Their goal is to become a librarian specializing in queer issues, and help to democratize information for all.
Deni-Teresa Walcott is in her first year of Seneca College's animation program, and as a queer NB, she faced abuse from her parents. Drawing helps her cope. She had little financial support until an email about the Bill 7 Award changed her life!
Dez Williams, in his first year at Trent University, studying biomedical sciences, is a trans man who wonders why people are the way they are — but insists that there are people out there who want you to succeed. The Bill 7 Award helps prove it.
Shae Hughes is another biomedical sciences student, in his second year at the University of Guelph. He dodged calls for a while before realizing it was the Bill 7 Award team calling to congratulate him! He never expected to attend university, and he's grateful for the opportunity. He hopes some day to become a naturopathic doctor.
Tatiana Marianetti is studying media production at Toronto Metropolitan University in her first year. The pandemic was a bit of a relief, as she could withdraw and isolate, escaping the pressures of high school. A teacher helped her realize who she is, and that what happens to us doesn't define us.
Xaniar Sarami Foroushani is a proud trans man from Iran, studying his first year of mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. After facing many challenges, he's living the dream, and Canada has started to feel like home. He recognizes how lucky he is to be in Canada and to have access to opportunities like the Bill 7 award.
Abby Reid, in her first year of biomedical sciences at the University of Ottawa, appeared via video to thank the supportive Bill 7 donors for helping her achieve her goals.
Emmanuel Sackeyfio is in his final year at the University of Toronto, pursuing an honours bachelor's of science degree. He got a last-minute scholarship application and won! He's committed to taking time to acknowledge how far he's come.
Mariah Conley is pursuing her first year of George Brown College's Assaulted Women and Children's Counsellor/Advocate program, and she brought her adorable daughter to the event! Mariah is a survivor of abuse, but knows that failure isn't an option — she has her daughter to consider. She's grateful to the Bill 7 Award for helping those who might otherwise feel alone.
Unfortunately, we're not able to share the names of all our recipients — some face continuing stigma from family and loved ones, such that it's unwise or unsafe to come out in public. These recipients are just as beloved and worthy as those we've celebrated above, and we wish them all the best as they continue navigating difficult terrain in their personal relationships.
Still, there's lots to be thankful for! Our 23 recipients are spreading their wings, preparing to pilot our country, and our world, into a brighter, more forgiving future. Kudos to all the 2022 Bill 7 Award recipients!
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Congrats again to all our recipients!
Learn more about the Bill 7 Award