Epilepsy Ontario celebrates
scholarship winners of 2012
Seizure disorders transformed from challenge to strength on June 6 as three students emerged “out of the shadows” to receive an OBCL Epilepsy Scholarship at the Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club.
“All of them have a positive side to it [epilepsy],” said Lawton Osler, owner of Osler Business Consulting Ltd. “That’s what really intrigued me.”
Students were required to submit a personal essay under the theme, “How Epilepsy Has Shaped My Life.” A panel of four Epilepsy Ontario board members pored over 18 applications that shared the challenges, successes, joys and disappointments of living with epilepsy.
The board awarded eight students who showed how their interests and ambitions outshone their epilepsy. While all shared a common struggle, each had their own plans for the $1,000 scholarship.
For Brooke Corner, 17, the scholarship will help her attend Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. for Practical Nursing. She hopes to become a nurse for sick children. Diagnosed with epilepsy at just eight months old, Corner says she knows the difference a kind nurse can make.
“I had a nurse once that wasn’t very nice to me,” she said, “So ever since then, I wanted to be a nurse that would make the child feel welcome.”
Jaimie Morgan-Lynette is putting her scholarship money into Centennial College, where she begins her studies in Recreation and Leisure Services this fall. The 21-year-old athlete says she hopes to use sports to help kids with special needs.
Sports keep her stress levels down, helping Morgan-Lynette cope with her epilepsy. “I think my head’s actually a lot clearer when I play sports,” she said.
Rahman Mohamed, 23, put his energy into educating young people to correct misperceptions about epilepsy. His scholarship money is helping him complete his studies in York University’s sociology program in Toronto.
“Young people are the future,” said Mohamed, who hopes to become a social worker. Helping youth today understand epilepsy, he says, will reduce stigmas in the future.
While only three of the eight recipients attended the ceremony, the evening was filled with smiles and laughter. Nearly 30 friends, family members and EO members gathered to support the recipients in their much deserved achievement.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 OBCL Epilepsy Scholarship Awards!
This year marks EO’s sixth annual scholarship awards funded by OBCL. Those who could not attend the ceremony received their awards by mail.
Writer: Veronica Tang