Canadian Hearing Services Awards Record Number of National Scholarships to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Click here for ASL

On behalf of Canadian Hearing Services (CHS), we are pleased to announce that CHS has awarded a record 23 scholarships to Deaf and hard of hearing post-secondary students for the academic year commencing September 2021. The CHS National Scholarship Program empowers Deaf and hard of hearing students to pursue their university and/or college goals by breaking down financial barriers to participation and the extra costs associated with hearing accommodation and higher learning.

“This year marks the 5th year of our National Scholarship Program, and we are extremely proud that we have been able to award this record number of scholarships, offering more students the opportunity to pursue their academic dreams. Each scholarship winner has demonstrated incredible resilience and drive to achieve their academic goals in order to build a successful career,” said Julia N. Dumanian, President and CEO of CHS. “As always, we are truly grateful to our generous supporters, partners and donors for helping to build a brighter future for Deaf and hard of hearing students across Canada.”

The successful recipients are chosen by an independent committee composed of Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing business leaders and academics. To be considered, applicants must meet various criteria such as community service hours earned, letters of reference and an essay detailing how the scholarship will help transform their future. Students who are eligible will be guaranteed full-time scholarships of $3,000 a year for up to four years.

Click to view videos from each of our 2021 scholarship recipients 

“The dedication and talent exhibited by each of our 23 scholarship winners is truly inspirational,” says Committee Chair, Diane Gregoris. “We are proud of each and every one of them, and are excited to cheer them on throughout their academic journey and beyond.”

CHS would like to thank the National Scholarship Committee for participating in the application review process. Special recognition and thanks to Diane Gregoris, Brahm Spilfogel, Jim Kyte, Lynn Lockhart-Menzies, Nigel Howard, and Rex Banks.

National Scholarship Program Supporters and Golf Tournament Corporate Partners and Participants
CHS gratefully acknowledges the support of our scholarship supporters: the Dr. Wolf Lebovic Charitable Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons, the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation, the John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Foundation, the Walker Wood Foundation, and all of our individual donors, Golf Tournament Corporate Partners and participants.

Meet the Award Winners

Addison Ali is from Aurora, ON and is entering the second year of the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences program at Guelph University. The CHS Scholarship will allow her to further her education journey and to pursue post-secondary schooling in the sciences. She wants to pursue a career in the area of the genetics of hearing loss and help children and families make impactful and self-advocating choices.

Alexander Loo is from Pickering, ON and is entering the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. The scholarship will help fund his post-secondary education and allow him to be an ambassador for future students.

Calvin Herr is from Okotoks, AB and is starting in the Engineering program at the University of Calgary.  Calvin’s dream is to work in the green energy sector and help create a cleaner planet for both his children and grandchildren.

Claire Vandesande is from Ottawa, ON and is in her third year of the Bachelor of Science program at Queen’s University. After developing a hearing loss, she challenged herself to learn new ways to communicate and navigate in a world that had become a constant puzzle. The CHS National Scholarship will help pay for her studies as she pursues a career as an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor with Doctors Without Borders and World Wide Hearing. She hopes to advocate for Deaf and hard of hearing communities around the world.

Drew Evans is from Mount Albert, ON and is entering the second year of the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Trent University. The CHS Scholarship will help him overcome the financial barriers to post-secondary education. Drew loves sports and hopes to one day be the manager of a sports team.

Emily Savoie is from Ingersoll, ON and is starting her teacher’s training at Western University. She wants to help create more inclusive classrooms and become a teacher working with Deaf and hard of hearing student.

Emma Kyte is from Carp, ON and is studying Human Kinetics at St. Francis Xavier University. One of five Deaf family members, she has three siblings in university, so the CHS National Scholarship provides financial support for the whole family. She is proud to be a part of the Deaf community and hopes to become an audiologist or a specialized teacher and work with students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. 

Erick Sturm is from Mississauga, ON and is entering the third year of the Architecture program at Laurentian University. Erick has persevered through mainstream classes with the support of one special, understanding teacher who taught Erick to become a strong advocate for himself. Erick’s determination landed him on the honour roll throughout high school. His goal is to design homes and buildings that are accessible for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

Esme Newling is from Fredericton, NB and is entering the fourth year of her major in Anthropology and minor in Forensic Science at the University of Toronto. For Esme, the CHS National Scholarship will be invested in new communication supports, including ASL classes and an interpreter for classes. It will also help ease the overall financial burden of post-secondary education. Esme is excited to be a pioneer in a field she believes has limited Deaf representation.

Giacomo Volpe is from Montreal, QC and is studying Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Concordia University. The CHS Scholarship will help pay for his tuition fees, books, tutoring and rent and help him reach his goal of becoming a teacher for Deaf children. His motto is “where there’s a will, there’s always a way!”. This positive attitude has helped him overcome barriers at both work and school.

Gregory Carrier is from Edmonton, AB and is entering the second year of the PhD Program in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Greg plans to obtain a PhD and become a public historian. He wants to make Deaf history more accessible to Deaf and hearing people by explaining what Deaf and blind people experienced in the Middle Ages, and how medieval hearing people had surprisingly positive views about Deaf people and deafness itself.

Jenna Lee Irwin is from Winnipeg, MB and is entering the second year of the Bachelor of Social Work program at Booth University College. Her dream career is to become a social worker and advocate for more accessible mental health services for the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

Jooah Bae is from Nanaimo, BC and is studying Computer Science and Health Information Science at the University of Victoria. When Jooah was 12, her family immigrated to Canada so she would have more opportunities as someone who is Deaf. The CHS National Scholarship will lessen the overall financial burden of post-secondary education for her and her family as she enters her first year of post-secondary education.

Jordan Lau is from East York, ON and is entering the Biomedical Engineering program at McMaster University. He plans to work designing hearing devices and create a positive impact in Deaf and hard of hearing communities around the world.

Keeford Cross is from Toronto, ON and is starting at the University of Toronto and plans to eventually pursue a Ph.D. in Plant Biology. He hopes to have a career working to solve global issues in climate change and food insecurity.

Marco Chiaramonte is from Vancouver, BC and is a graduate student in the Community Development program at the University of Victoria. Marco has worked as an Employment Counsellor Team Lead for the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The CHS National Scholarship will allow him to further his education and pursue his goal of working in policy development to improve the lives of people with disabilities at work, at home and in their community.

Marie-Claire Gagnon is from Chicoutimi, QC and is studying Psychology at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. The CHS National Scholarship will help relieve the pressure from having to work while going to school, allowing her to put all her energy into her studies. For Marie-Claire, the scholarship reinforces that there are people who believe in Deaf and hard of hearing students and their ability to fulfill their dreams.

Mikayla Morris is from Milton, ON and is beginning her studies in English and Sociology at the University of Toronto. Mikayla loves teaching ASL to hearing students and helping to break down communication barriers between Deaf and hearing students. She plans to support the Deaf community by working with young people to achieve their goals.

Naomi Robinson is from Sudbury, ON and is entering the second year of the Bachelor of Science program at St. Francis Xavier University. The CHS Scholarship will allow her to complete her post-secondary education in order to become an Environmental Journalist. As a journalist, she hopes to advocate that those who are Deaf or hard of hearing not be left out of the developments that are happening in our world.

Rosina Mastrangelo-Keigher is from Oshawa, ON and is starting in the Bachelor of Health Science program at the Ontario Technical University. After her undergraduate degree she plans to attend Medical School and pursue her dream of becoming an Otolaryngologist.

Via Jade Merasty is from Winnipeg, MB and is entering her first year at Red River College. Her goal is to become a teacher for the Deaf and help young people to explore normal and happy environments. Her motto is, “Don’t give up!”

Zachary Sturm is from Mississauga, ON and is enrolled in the Social Service Worker program at Fleming College. Zachary is very active in the Deaf community with VOICE, an organization that advocates and supports families with children who have hearing loss. The CHS National Scholarship will help pay for part of his education and an interpreter. His goal is to become a social worker for children who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

About the Canadian Hearing Services National Scholarship Program Fund

The CHS National Scholarship Program is uniquely inclusive of Deaf and hard of hearing students of all abilities. Winners are chosen based on key criteria, including community service, letters of reference and essays detailing how the scholarship will transform their futures. Scholarships are available for undergraduate and graduate students, including mature students attending accredited post-secondary institutions inside or outside of Canada. Students that receive funding remain eligible for the same level of funding for up to four years. For more information, visit www.chs.ca/scholarship-program 

About Canadian Hearing Services

Since 1940, Canadian Hearing Services has been an industry-leading provider of professional services, products and education that empower people who are Deaf and hard of hearing to overcome barriers to participation. Canadian Hearing Services is the largest and only Accredited organization of its kind in North America. For more information about Canadian Hearing Services, visit CHS.ca or call 1-866-518-0000.


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