BY: JELANI GRANT
Another batch of students received post-secondary funding from Peel District School Board educator Audrey Parker’s H. Franklyn Parker Scholarship. Parker has served as an educator in the Peel District School Board for more than seventeen years and since 2013 has held the H. Franklyn Parker Scholarship awards in honor of her father, providing an easier transition into post-secondary education for a select number of students. The scholarship awards night was held at the Boaden’s Banquet Centre and Catering inside the Windsor Room.
The cocktail hour allowed for supporters from the Peel Region School Boards, Peel police divisions and even the Peel real estate industry to mingle. Food was served to start off the night. Guests ate assorted salad, steamed rice, bread rolls and had the option of fish or chicken. Desserts and coffee were also offered throughout the event.
Entertainment included a talented young violinist, singer/songwriter Ray Robinson, who spoke about his experience getting out of high school, expecting life to be easier. He said he had missteps post-high school but eventually found his place through consistent hard work. He encouraged the recipients to remained focused on their goals and fully understand what it would take to achieve their individual dreams before performing Do You Hear Me and I Like It from his 2015 R&B album, Do You Hear Me.
Carlos Budd Ford continued the night’s entertainment performing more than a dozen covers of hit R&B singles including The Manhattans’ Kiss and Say Goodbye, Smokie Robinson’s Cruisin’ and Minnie Ripperton’s Loving You. Four women from the Chinese Collective Arts Association performed a graceful dance routine. Stephanie Vega demonstrated her vocal talent, singing a piece from Les Miserables.
This year, seven high school graduates were awarded scholarships towards their post-secondary education as well as other community leaders. The Community award was given to Jamaica House Kitchen owner Colin Smith for his contributions to his community, sponsoring youth in advancing their dreams. Brampton Wards 1 and 5 Trustee David Green received the Award of Excellence for his more than a decades worth of dedicated work in the community. Ward 5 Peel School Board Trustee Rick Williams also received an award for more than twenty years of committed work in Mississauga.
Scholarship recipients included Akeem, a Jamaican native, who will be pursuing a computer engineering degree at York University. Canadian newcomer, also from Jamaica, Chauntay Renee also received a scholarship to help pay for her computer programming education at Sheridan College. Renaldo Duke received a scholarship to enter University of Ontario’s Institute of Technology and Biological Science program next fall. Central Peel Secondary graduate Candice plans to use her scholarship to pursue life sciences at McMaster University.