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Three women receive $3,000 scholarships through Girls Inc. and Syncrude

Last Updated Sep 8, 2020 at 1:35 pm MDT

PHOTO. Supplied. Top Row: Mariam Arain, Jenna Hamilton, Communications and Fund Development, Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, Reagan Morris. Bottom Row: Destiny Smorong, Nanase Tonda, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, Colleen Kearney, Vice President, Human Resources, Syncrude Canada.

Three women from our region will receive the Women of Inspiration Award through Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta and Syncrude Canada.

The three women have been chosen out of 27 applicants.

Mariam Arain has been awarded the Barb Jewers Memorial Scholarship for her extensive community volunteering and activism.

Arain’s community activism focuses on inclusion and youth empowerment, including speaking at key events, assisting community organizations like the Multicultural Association Wood Buffalo and Wood Buffalo Food Bank.

Arain also serves on the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Youth.

“Through these experiences, I learned that bringing positive change is facilitated by having the motivation, leadership skills and credibility to reinforce your actions. A Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting will allow me to pursue my passion for business while developing the required skills, and credibility to continue making positive changes as a bold, female, community and business leader.”

Destiny Smorong has received the Elsie Yanik Memorial Scholarship.

As an Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation young woman, Smorong engages deeply with First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

She volunteers with the Full Circle mentoring program run by Big Brothers Big Sisters Wood Buffalo, an after school program where children from various grades learn about different aspects of the Indigenous culture.

Smorong will major in human resources under the discipline of business administration and hopes to foster Indigenous entrepreneurship and business relations through Indigenous talent development/acquisition.

“My career objectives once I complete the Bachelor of Business Administration is to work for an Indigenous business within the Wood Buffalo area and to hopefully one day start my own business….Working for an Indigenous business within the Wood Buffalo area is important to me, because I am originally from Fort Chipewyan.”

Reagan Morris is awarded the Ann Dort-MacLean Scholarship for her work advocating for empowering the 2SLGBTQI+ youth as well as gender equality.

Morris is the founder of the Big Gay Pancake Breakfast, member of YMM Pride, and President of the Gender & Sexual Orientation Alliance.

“My choice to become a teacher is solely based on how my teachers helped me survive the loneliness of high school, and I am hoping to be that for someone. My biggest goal is to show queer students that you can grow up and be happy.”

Over the last seven years, Girls Inc. and Syncrude has helped 21 young women pursue their post-secondary education and career goals.