Our Awards are funded by the proceeds from our Annual House Tour.

2022 Award Winners

Alisha Yap  –  Laura Secord SS

Alisha Yap graduated from Laura Secord Secondary School and has accepted her offer from Brock University for their Business Administration Co-op program. After she finishes her post-secondary journey she plans on becoming an Event Coordinator in hopes of being able to plan events such as weddings, parties, and corporate events. She is also aspiring to open her own event coordinating company at some point during her career, perhaps even open her own banquet facility. In high school Alisha took many academic courses throughout her four years. Her grade 11 and 12 courses included Accounting, Personal Fitness, English, Functions, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Data Management and International Law. In addition to her academic courses, Alisha partook in two cooperative education experiences, the first being at a veterinary clinic and the second as editor of the Laura Secord 2021/2022 yearbook. Alisha participated in a variety of school activities from many departments such as, Senior String Ensemble, Drumline, Batterie, Dance Team (where she was a captain in her grade 12 year), Prefects, Secord Cares and she was the editor of the 2021/2022 yearbook.


2018 Niagara Regional Science & Engineering Fair Winners

Oishi Ray, a 14-year-old Grade 9 student, created a computer program that analyses the data in mammograms to detect early stages of breast cancer. Radiologists’ existing software-based screening tools have an accuracy rating of 66%. Oishi’s software improved the rating to 84% – precise enough to meet the minimum threshold of 80% accuracy for use in clinical settings. This tool will help reduce the problem of false positive mammogram readings.


Close friends, Grade 7 student Sarah Schaefer and Grade 9 student Crystal Coyne decided two years ago that they wanted to work on a Science Fair project together. They mulled over two possible topics: One was the poor record of recycling PVC gift cards (e.g. Timmie’s cards) because over 75 million pounds of North American gift cards end up in landfill sites each year. Another was the decline in the bee population. A typical hive of bees requires three gallons of water each day for hive cooling, humidity control, making larva food and digestion. Providing clean, flowing water is seen as a way to improve the health of bees.

Crystal and Sarah found a single solution to these two problems. They invented a Bee Hydration Station which they manufacture for sale at local garden centres using shredded gift cards (200 pounds of cards collected from a local Sobey’s and from Tim Hortons). They created a flower-shaped water fountain to pump water from a rain barrel or hose onto “flower” surfaces that are ideally shaped to make fresh water easily accessible to the bees. Run-off water flows into a micro-irrigation tube that turns into a soaker-style hose for watering the surrounding garden plants.

2017 Award Winners

April Featured Scholars

Sharon Leon
After a number of years in the workforce, Sharon Leon, aspired to a career in Health Sciences. First step was to get the required College Math, Chemistry and Biology credits at the St. John’s Adult Learning Centre. She added a Microsoft Certification to this course load and succeeded with marks in the 90-95% range in all courses. For women going back to school, this usually means doing so while continuing to earn some income and meeting family obligations. Sharon was no exception. She achieved these high marks while running a home business, taking care of her family, including her elderly father, and still had time for some volunteering. Her determination and great work ethic will help make her very successful in College and in Health Sciences. CFUW has been able to assist her with the financial aspect of this endeavour since she was awarded one of our scholarships at graduation.

Kayla Kiernicki
Another St. John’s Adult Learning Centre 2017 scholarship recipient was Kayla Kiernicki. Kayla aspired to enter into the Registered Practical Nursing programme at Niagara College. To do so, she needed to complete the College Math and Science course prerequisites. Working within a timeline, Kayla took both daytime and evening courses so she could apply to Niagara College sooner. Despite the intense load, she managed to complete the course assignments on time and keep all her marks in the 90s, clearly demonstrating her readiness to go on to post-secondary education. Kayla is described as an “excellent role-model in class and a great peer-helper”, certainly great assets to bring to her chosen field.

March Featured Scholar

Our CFUW scholarships support women going back to school to develop a career path. Vanessa Smith is one of those people who has enough determination to do just that. As she graduated from the NCDSB Lifetime Learning Centre, Vanessa received a CFUW scholarship as well as the Spirit Award issued from the Centre. She writes to us: “I am currently attending Brock University on a part-time basis, and planning to enrol in the psychology program full time next year. My
hopes are to further my studies and obtain my PhD in psychology.” As with other recipients, Vanessa wants to give back to the community by tackling mental health issues. To highlight just how motivated this young woman is, you only have to look at this graduation photo of Vanessa with her six children. This is definitely what CFUW scholarships are about, helping those educational aspirations become a reality!

February Featured Scholar

Upon meeting Madeleine Nolan, CFUW Math/Science Award recipient, who can miss her enthusiastic smile? Simply stated, she is fully engaged in life, enjoying challenges along the way.

At Saint Francis Secondary School, Maddie was a member of the cross country, track and field, soccer and volley ball teams, as well as the mathletes team. Life outside school included training with Niagara Regional Athletics in track and cross country, and playing the piano. Part time jobs in our Niagara community featured summer day camp counselor/YMCA Niagara, as well as lifeguard and swimming instructor for the City of St. Catharines and the Town of Lincoln.

At graduation, June 2017, that signature Madeleine Nolan smile was extra exuberant, once the Math/Science Award was announced and presented. She was now duly recognized in her favourite subjects. The granddaughter of CFUW member, Caroline Nolan, fully appreciated that our women’s club had presented her with a prestigious award and that this would assist with some of the costs of attending the University of Waterloo in biomedical engineering.

During her first term, Maddie has taken courses ranging from math, to computer programming, to design. Design is the clear favourite, as she embraces new ways of addressing limitations. Her group created a functional bike helmet adjustment system for children with disabilities that impact fine motor skills.

She proudly reports that she is “a member of the (University of Waterloo) cross country team, which has been a fantastic experience, so far. My team qualified for the 2017 cross country nationals, which took us to Victoria, B. C., to race against teams in Canada”.

This focused, strong young woman continues to accept challenges. Maddie the long distance runner comes armed with perseverance and patience. Madeleine Nolan knows what she wants in life, knows that placing first is not necessary and is determined to find a way to reach her goals, complete with a smile!

January Featured Scholar

This month’s featured scholarship recipient is Filda (Mercy) Achan, a recent graduate of Laura Secord Secondary School. Not only has Mercy been a high achiever receiving this Math award, but she is also highly motivated to contribute to humanitarian aid efforts in countries of strife to help those in need. She is beginning by attending McMaster University taking Medical Radiation Sciences. “My goal is to become a radiologist and my dream is to work with Doctors without Borders.” Mercy finished her correspondence saying, “thank you for your generosity. I am very blessed”. We wish her success in realizing her dream.


December Featured Scholar

Olivia Bouaban, is a graduate of the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) Academy, and has achieved Gold Medal status with an above 90% average and awards in Math, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Within this academic environment, Olivia became a leader as a member of her Student council and participation in the Students in Action club. Her teachers describe her as “having a special gift for encouraging others when they see themselves as less than capable”. For exam-ple, as a team captain in sports, she would facilitate others to score goals and coached and tutored younger students to acquire skills. Olivia is studying Life Sciences at Queen’s University, and has written to us expressing her appreciation for the scholar-ship. She will use the money towards tuition and books. “This award has given me more confidence in pursuing my education”. Our thoughts of encouragement are with her at Queen’s!

November Featured Scholar

Our featured ‘scholar’ this month is Sophie Oprzedek, a graduate of Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School and a recipient of a CFUW Math/Science award. Sophie is an honour graduate with an impressive 92% average, graduating with a Specialist High Skills Major in Health and Wellness. She trained in ‘Safe Talk’ to help her peers and worked very hard on projects to raise funds for a sister school in Haiti and a local food bank. This caring, and very talented young woman, is attending McMaster University to study Medical Radiation Services. Wishing her continued success!


October Featured Scholar

This student, Donna Truong, graduated from Governor Simcoe School in June. Donna was a well rounded high school student. Not only did she maintain her marks in the mid 90’s, but she took on a role as a member of her Student Council. In addition, she was involved in the Simcoe Outreach Society, which fundraises and supports people both locally and globally. Donna also volunteered in the Simcoe Buddies program as a mentor working with special needs students individually, and spending lunch times with a group. Donna is pursuing an Accounting degree at Brock University. We wish her well in her studies!