Four people holding mircophones engage in a discussion while sitting on a stage.

On April 15, more than 400 donors, students, faculty and staff gathered at the annual Humber Scholarship Celebration to recognize the impact of philanthropic support on student success.

The evening began with a message from Humber’s President and CEO, Ann Marie Vaughan, who expressed her gratitude to Humber’s community of supporters.

“Donors recognize the unlimited potential of Humber students and continue to lift them up,” Vaughn said. “Thanks to scholarships and the generosity of our donors, we are able to alleviate many of the issues students face in accessing education while also opening the door to incredible opportunities enabling their success.”

Last year, 824 donor-funded scholarships and emergency bursaries were awarded to students at Humber. Vaughan shared a special congratulatory message to student scholarship recipients referencing the phrase “carpe opportunitates” (or seize the opportunities) on the official Humber coat of arms and crest as a vision for students to be changemakers and to make the most out of their Humber education.

Four people stand in a row together.
One of the highlights of the celebration was a student panel moderated by Kelly Jackson, vice-president, External Affairs and Professional Learning, where three scholarship recipients spoke candidly about the path that led them to Humber, the impact of scholarship support and their aspirations upon graduating.

Samara Ocansey, a second-year student in the Bachelor of Engineering – Sustainable Building Engineering program and recipient of the Riverside Natural Foods Scholarship, the Chris Whitaker Presidential Scholarship and the Barrett Family Foundation Leadership Scholarship, shared how receiving the scholarships helped her focus on her studies, giving her more time to prioritize her work and participate in extracurricular activities.

“I’m really passionate about building environmentally friendly buildings and about engineering,” said Ocansey, who founded the club Women in Engineering at Humber to inspire and mentor women who are pursuing this career path.  

An international student from Ghana, Ocansey also serves as a student life leader in the First Year Experience program, which helps students transition smoothly into post-secondary life. She’s also a sustainability ambassador, where she promotes eco-friendly practices and raises awareness about environmental issues throughout Humber.

Danial Abidi, a third-year student in the Bachelor of Science - Nursing Honours Degree program and recipient of the Nursing Faculty Award and the Elaine Lo Nursing Scholarship, mentioned that the scholarships helped pay for his tuition and gave him the extra boost and encouragement to pursue his dream. A father of two toddlers, Abidi was grateful that he has the time to experience their milestones while attending school full-time.

Before coming to Canada, Abidi’s background was in medicine.  

“I was unable to pursue the medical route at first, but Humber gave me the opportunity,” he said. “It’s my goal now to give back as much as I can and share my insight and experiences.”  

Abidi is currently vice-president of Communications and Funding for the Humber Nursing Society and a student ambassador for the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

A smiling person talks to other people sitting at their table.
Miranda Isaacs, a first-year student in the Carpentry and Renovation Technician Diploma program and recipient of the Schulich Builders: Scholarships for Skilled Trades found that the scholarship has made “a world of difference.”  

All through high school, Isaacs said she had to work 30 hours a week to make ends meet. “I have nine courses this semester. I can't even imagine having to balance a job to be able to afford everything in this economy.” She says the scholarship “saved my life.”  

Isaacs is one of four women enrolled in her program and advocates for greater representation of women in skilled trades. Isaacs is also interested in pursuing an Electrician - Construction and Maintenance Apprenticeship after her diploma program and eventually engaging in entrepreneurial real estate redevelopment.

Throughout the evening, many of Humber’s community of supporters had the opportunity to connect with their scholarship recipient, share stories and celebrate the transformative power of education made possible through Humber’s first comprehensive campaign – the Unlimited Campaign.  

Attendees were also treated to a special video presentation highlighting the impact of donor-funded scholarships and student achievement. To cap off the evening, guests enjoyed captivating and dynamic salsa music from Calle 23, a 12-person ensemble led by Sean Bellaviti and comprised of Humber students in the Bachelor of Music program.

The scholarship celebration served as a testament to the strong community of supporters who are committed to unlocking the potential of Humber’s talented students.