Written by Katherine Bingham, Ketner Group, for Opterus.
Opterus, the leading provider of cost-effective, cloud store communications and task management solutions to some of the world's largest retailers, today announced the winners of its Rebel With a Cause awards. The program, currently in its fifth year, was established by Opterus president and founder Janet Hawkins in honour of her late mother and sister.
The awards program consists of two scholarships, awarding $10,000 each to two women pursuing an education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the arts at an accredited Canadian university or college, who create or continue a new mindset for a better world.
The scholarship selection board, comprised of Opterus leaders and other Canadian thought leaders, in partnership with ScholarshipsCanada, selects finalists based on creativity and impact. It seeks those looking to change their community in a realistic, focused, and rebellious way.
The Opterus Helen Rose STEM scholarship
The Opterus Helen Rose STEM Scholarship is for women 18 to 26, who plan on pursuing an education in STEM. This year, the Helen Rose STEM Scholarship was awarded to Allysia Chin, a second-year MD-PhD student at the University of Toronto.
Outside of her passion for organic chemistry, Allysia champions equity, outreach initiatives, mentorship, curly hair routines, ear piercings, chicken nuggets, and breaking glass ceilings. The scholarship is a "resolute investment in my dream to radically transform the world through medicine and science," Allysia said.
The Opterus Valerie Ann Arts award
Opterus also presents an opportunity for students in the arts with its Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award. This year, the Valerie Ann Arts Award was awarded to Qwison Yoon-Potkins, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia.
Qwison is committed to continuing her work in the field of sexual health education. She hopes to find creative ways to disseminate the findings from her thesis, how reimagining sexual health education has a potential to shift dominant narratives, to a broader audience. The scholarship "will be immensely helpful in achieving the goals I've been working toward for the past two years," said Qwison.
Continuing impacts on scholarship recipients
The impact of the scholarships stretches beyond the students' studies. In fact, Montana Blum, a 2019 Opterus Rebel with a Cause award winner and third-year medical student at the University of British Columbia, now sits on the selection committee.
"Being awarded the Helen Rose Award just a few months before entering medical school and now having the privilege of sitting on the board and getting to learn about the applicants each year is humbling," said Montana. "Receiving the award gave me the confidence and financial leeway to pursue my academic, professional, and personal passions. It is a privilege be a part of the community of women who have received the Helen Rose Award in Dr. McKilligin's honour."
"The Rebel with a Cause Awards are about giving back and making a difference in the world which is a core part of our company values," said Janet Hawkins, president and founder, Opterus. "I also hope that the awards program continues to instill in society the desire to pay it forward and make a positive impact across STEM and the ARTS no matter how big or small."
About Opterus Inc.
To learn more about the Rebel with a Cause Awards, visit the Opterus website.
Opterus Inc. is a leading global provider of a cost-effective, easy-to-implement 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. For additional information, visit opterus.com.