A person’s hand is holding a pencil as they fill out a form.

Historically, Black students and others from equity-deserving groups have faced barriers to post-secondary education. With many systemic challenges continuing  today, Humber College is working to ensure students from diverse backgrounds and communities have equal access to education and opportunities through a number of targeted scholarships and bursaries.

Chantay Thorpe, who’s in her final year of the Bachelor of Commerce – Digital Business Management program, received the $1,000 Riverside Natural Foods scholarship.

Thorpe had been researching scholarships at Humber and said the robust number the College offers was a deciding factor in her decision to attend Humber. It was then she came across the Riverside scholarship. It’s awarded annually to a student in any program who self-identifies as Black/African, demonstrates financial need, and strives to create a more compassionate and healthier world.

“It makes us feel as if there is recognition of these barriers that have held us back and the struggle many Black students experience,” said Thorpe.

Students who self-identify as Black/African have access to several different scholarships at Humber that are offered by donors through Advancement and Alumni.

The department currently has five scholarships for students who self-identify as Black/African and another 34 for students who self-identify as Indigenous or are from other equity-deserving groups.

For Thorpe, the scholarship arrived when a tuition payment was due and it was a relief to receive it.

“The scholarship was for students who had a passion to make those changes in the world and I thought it aligned closely with what I valued,” said Thorpe. “It lines up with what I’m studying and how I want to use digital solutions to promote healthy alternatives.”

The other scholarships for Black/African students include:  

• Beverley Elaine Philp Entrance Scholarship – Presented to a student entering the Bachelor of Science – Nursing program who demonstrates financial need and self-identifies as a Black/African woman.

• David Williams "Soulfingaz" Scholarship – Presented to a first-, second- or third-year student in the Bachelor of Music program who self-identifies as Black/African and who demonstrates passion and promise. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need.
• Illumiti "Realize Your Vision" Scholarship – Presented to a student entering the third year of select programs who demonstrates financial need, has good academic standing (a GPA of 70 per cent or greater) and self-identifies as Black/African. The student must demonstrate perseverance and is continuing their academic journey despite hardships and challenges they may have faced.  

• Punjabi Community Health Services Scholarship of Excellence – Presented to a student in the Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Bachelor of Social Science - Addictions and Mental Health or Addictions and Mental Health post-graduate programs. They must self-identify as Black/African, have overcome adversity, created harmony within the academic field, and demonstrate how they worked on issues related to anti-racism or anti-oppression.

Thorpe encourages students from her community to look into scholarships and bursaries that are available to them and says that students should not feel intimidated by the application process. She says it could result in an important bursary or scholarship.

For students interested in applying for scholarships, visit the Advancement and Alumni Student Awards website at humber.ca/studentscholarships.