The school year is finishing up and Fort McMurray Public School Division students continue to excel and amaze.
Westwood Community High School student Irene Olayinka was one of the recipients of the $70,000 TD Scholarship for Community Leadership out of 20 students nationwide.
Irene led her school’s first Black History Month celebration, advocated for systemic accountability for racism, and spoke publicly during Black Lives Matter protests.
She also took part in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo’s Mayor Advisory Council on Youth where she led a letter-writing campaign to shape Alberta’s school curriculum and is the Marketing Director of Queens in Code.
“As a grade 12 student, this scholarship takes a huge burden off my shoulders; the newfound freedom to learn and grow without worrying about expenses means more to me than I can express. Already the network of young leaders I have been introduced to inspires me daily. From founders of local Black student unions to environmental activists, this year’s TD scholars are a group of phenomenal students; and I’m grateful to be included. I appreciate the staff of Westwood and FMPSD for the support and the love you have shown me over the past three years. Without you, I can confidently say that I would never have been able to achieve this,” Irene said enthusiastically in an interview.
Irene plans to take her passion for social justice and activism toward receiving a degree in Political Science at the University of Toronto in the fall.
“You may be wondering what I’m going to do after that – interestingly, so am I. Tentatively, I hope to pursue a career in civil law. No matter where I end up working, building a world where equity is a universal, foundational principle will always be my overarching goal.”