Hamilton youth honoured at annual Potpourri awards
The Hamilton Spectator
Ten of Hamilton’s young people were recognized for their academic excellence and community service at the 23rd annual African Caribbean Cultural Potpourri Inc. youth scholarship banquet Saturday night.
The scholarships have been handed out each year since 1996 to exemplary high school graduates entering university or college.
To date, 254 scholarships and bursaries have been awarded.
This year’s winners, who each received $1,000 and were honoured during a celebration at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, include:
•Maria Kasibi, who graduated from Sir John. A Macdonald Secondary School, where she took an interest in health sciences and community involvement. She aspires to be an oncology nurse and has dedicated much of her time to volunteering at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Kasibi maintained honour roll status while participating in extracurricular activities like track and field, touch football and book club.
•Jessica Bistawrous, who is a graduate of Cathedral High School, achieved honour roll status throughout her time there. She was also on the badminton and slo-pitch teams. Bistawrous is enrolled in the biomedical science program at the University of Ottawa, with a career goal of becoming a chiropractor.
•Afomia Mohamed, who graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, earned several awards for her academic achievements and community involvement. She is a member of the STEM community and hopes to be a role model and encourage representation of minority youth in her field. Mohamed attends the University of Toronto where she is enrolled in the general engineering program.
•Ruth Masuka, a graduate of St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School, was elected valedictorian of her class. She is a member of Diabetes Canada and mentors youth living with this diagnosis. Her desire to fight for human rights inspired her to pursue a double degree in economics and peace, conflict and justice studies at the University of Toronto.
•Salsabil Sarhan, who graduated from Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, has since gone on to study social sciences at McMaster University. While in high school, she was the president of the student and athletic councils and a member of the basketball team, health action team and the graduation committee. Sarhan volunteered at FirstOntario Centre, Dofasco Park and the John Howard Society.
•Emily Radcliffe, who graduated from Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School, acted in musicals including “Grease” and “Fame.” She was a children’s ministry leader at Kingsview Community Church. Radcliffe is attending the University of Waterloo where she is pursuing an honours degree in arts and business.
•Cheyanne Thompson, she graduated from Westdale Secondary School, where she was a member of the Westdale Orchestra and the basketball team. In the community, Thompson volunteered for Good Shepherd, Christ Church Cathedral and People’s Community Sports. She is currently pursuing a social sciences degree at McMaster University.
•Jonathan Bowen, a graduate from St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, was the president of the jazz band and drum line and vice-president of the vocal ensemble. At an early age he joined CityKidz, which fed his desire to become a music teacher and share his talents with those less fortunate. He is studying musical education at Western University.
•Oghogho Asemota, a graduate from Cathedral High School, served on student council and the rugby, tennis and badminton teams. He was also a crew member at CHSTV News, served food at St. Patrick’s De Mazenod Door, and volunteered at the St. Vincent De Paul Value Shop. Asemota enrolled at Memorial University and wants to become a surgeon.
•Alec Purnell, he is graduate from Dundas Valley Secondary School. His passion for athletics led him to become a mentor for the Hamilton Olympic Club, where he helped young athletes in the community develop their skills. He was also a community volunteer at the Routes Youth Centre and the Hamilton Library. Purnell is currently enrolled in the human kinetics program at the University of Guelph.