(Fort McMurray, AB, June 28, 2022) We’re loving the good news rolling in. Way to go Irene Olayinka, our Westwood Community High School student on receiving the prestigious $70,000 TD Scholarship for Community Leadership! Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) is proud of you.
“TD Scholarship for Community Leadership recipients receive up to $70,000 for tuition and living expenses as well as opportunities for paid summer employment, peer networking and mentorship.”
Irene, 17, is in grade 12 and graduating tomorrow. She’s a well-known advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion at Westwood. She started the first Black History Month celebration at the school, has spoken publicly during the Black Lives Matter protests, is on the School Council; on the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Youth. Additionally, she is the Marketing Director of Queens in Code, Westwood’s student-run STEM group. She has also participated in Tuxis Alberta Youth Parliament, Alberta’s longest-running youth parliament in Canada, as well as student research at University of Alberta.
”As a grade 12 student, this scholarship takes a huge burden off my shoulders; the newfound freedom to learn and grow without worrying about expenses means more to me than I can express. Already the network of young leaders I have been introduced to inspires me daily. From founders of local Black student unions to environmental activists, this year’s TD scholars are a group of phenomenal students; and I’m grateful to be included. I appreciate the staff of Westwood and FMPSD for the support and the love you have shown me over the past three years. Without you, I can confidently say that I would never have been able to achieve this,” enthused Irene.
As for her future plans, Irene shared, “My passion for social justice and activism has led me to pursue a degree in Political Science at the University of Toronto in the fall. You may be wondering what I’m going to do after that - interestingly, so am I. Tentatively, I hope to pursue a career in civil law. No matter where I end up working, building a world where equity is a universal, foundational principle will always be my overarching goal.”
Tifanie Book, Principal, Westwood Community High School noted Irene’s award is well-deserved.
“Irene is an outstanding member of the Westwood community and conducts herself in a manner beyond her years. She is very deserving of this award and has been instrumental in building community at Westwood through Student Council events over the years. She is also a leader in diversity initiatives, Black History Month, and a peer mentor for our junior high students. Congratulations Irene - I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you!”
FMPSD Superintendent, Annalee Nutter, echoed similar sentiments.
“It takes diligence and courage of conviction to work on diversity, equity and inclusion, and it takes a leader - Irene has all these qualities and more. The TD Canada Community Leadership Scholarship speaks to her impressive zeal to make our world better. Congratulations Irene! Keep on shining, leading, and being you - you are exactly what our world needs.”
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