Top Fil-Canadian students win honors and cash awards in Toronto
TORONTO, Ontario–Three Filipino Canadian students received top honors during the Filipino Centre Toronto (FCT)’s 2015 Outstanding Student Awards ceremony at the organization’s Rizal Hall on November 8.
Monica Anne Batac from Ryerson University and Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (post secondary awardee), Hazel Ann Zenarosa from Forest Hill Collegiate Institute (high school awardee) and Jarred Laganas from James Culnan Catholic Elementary School (elementary school awardee) received plaques of recognition and cash for topping their categories.
Other honorees were Rachel Cabunoc of the University of Western Ontario and Genevieve Canizares of Ryerson University (post secondary level); Timothy Calupig of St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School, Juliane Daniell Clemente of Malvern Collegiate Institute, and Carel Faith Gicana of Don Mills Collegiate Institute (high school level); Jensine Kerr Aure of College Park Elementary School and Naomi Grace Joson of St. Aidan Catholic Elementary School (elementary school level); and Jasmine Santos Bouckley of Blessed John Paul School and Gien Mariel Santos of Woodbine Junior High School (special mention, elementary school level).
Life Achievement Awards were presented to Charmaine Pascua, John Ortega, Lea Gimenez, Kaylene Tolentino and John Kok.
The annual event began in 2005 when the FCT set up its Outstanding Students Awards (OSA) Committee to select exemplary students of Filipino Canadian heritage who have completed their elementary, high school, and post-secondary studies with distinction in both public and sectarian schools and universities. Criteria include scholastic achievement/academic marks (50 percent), community involvement and extra curricular activities (25 percent) and interview performance (25 percent).
Ethel Tunguhan, Ph.D., herself an outstanding student awardee in 2013 and currently the Grant Notley postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta department of political science, motivated the students by sharing her own experience as the child of immigrants who was moved to excel simply because it was part of Filipino culture to place a high value on education.
Tunguhan was the winner of the 2014 National Women’s Studies Association/University of Illinois Press First Book Prize for Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility.
Gary Poole, Toronto Catholic District School Board associate director of academic affairs, gave a keynote speech that focused on the value of daring to dream, daring to believe and daring to achieve.
Donors and sponsors of the outstanding students program included Atty. Ramon Andal (in memory of his son Brian Raymond Andal), Luminus Financial, Himelfarb Prozanski LLP, Precy and Segundo Tumulak, Bayani and Daisy Bernabe and Bebet Paguirigan.
The OSA committee is chaired by Mary Ann San Juan. Members include Wendy Arena, Ed Birondo, Cora de Villa, Aida D’Orazio, Rosalinda Javier, Marilou Parcero, Marisa Roque, Tony A. San Juan, and Luna Vince. Fermer Santos, Tony A. San Juan, and Frank Villanueva make up the Selection Committee.
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