Congratulations to 2020 graduates Jessica Soule and Charlotte Brady who, in recognition of their community leadership, have each earned the highly competitive and prestigious TD Scholarship for Community Leadership.
Jessica and Charlotte were two of just 20 students across Canada chosen for the award. They will receive up to $70,000 each, which will go towards post-secondary tuition and living expenses over four years.
“I don’t even know if there is a word for it,” said Charlotte about when she found out. “I’m just honoured and completely blown away.”
Charlotte is being recognized for her leadership in the Pride and Equity Club at GNS, which she helped to revamp and run for two years. As well, she is recognized for her work with Kids for a Plastic Free Canada with her classmate Anastasia Castro.
When Jessica found out about the scholarship, she said it was amazing, especially after going through a long interview process.
“There were a couple of steps I had to go through, but it feels really good to be rewarded for the work I have done,” she said. “Especially because the work I have done with mental health and harm reduction is still very stigmatized, so having a large organization like TD recognize that is legitimate and important work felt really good.”
Jessica started her work with her IB MYP Grade 10 Personal Project where she spent a year putting together a mental health toolkit and a documentary. She then transitioned to doing more work with overdose prevention and harm reduction as well as naloxone training.
The TD Scholarship also offers a paid summer internship, annual gatherings, and both networking and mentorship opportunities.
“I was amazed about the amount of people and the amount of community that gets built up with the community scholarship…meeting people who have had success and gone on into their lives in the field I want to go into, is inspiring and a big bonus to becoming part of the community,” explained Charlotte.
For Jessica, she is excited to be part of the massive alumni network that the TD Scholarship includes.
“It’s the 25th year of the TD Scholarship, and they are on the 500th scholarship recipient,” she said. “During the conference a couple of weeks ago I was able to meet virtually with all of the past recipients and there are so many amazing people that are doing great things for the world. Being connected with them is one of the biggest perks of the program for sure.”
Jessica hasn’t decided what post-secondary institution she will be attending yet, but she plans to study International Relations and Public Health.