“This scholarship not only recognizes and celebrates academic achievement but also acknowledges the importance of diversity and inclusion.”

Altasia Taylor

IGNITE is committed to creating an inclusive and safe learning environment for everyone, regardless of their background or how they identify.

To bridge gaps, promote equal opportunities and fight against the unique challenges that minority groups face, IGNITE offers Equity Scholarships. These include the Black Excellence Scholarship, the Pride Scholarship and the Indigenous Scholarship.

IGNITE awarded students with the Black Excellence Scholarship. This scholarship is given to full-time or part-time Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber students who are in good academic standing, identify as Black, African or Caribbean and have shown leadership or been involved in their community.

We are happy to share our recipients:

  • Matthew Oshunbiyi
  • Samara Ocansey
  • Altasia Taylor
  • AJ Nathaniel

We asked them a few questions, and here’s what they had to say:

How will this scholarship help you achieve your career aspirations?

A picture of a portrait of Altasia Taylor.
Photo credits: Altasia Taylor

The Black Excellence Scholarship aims to not just level the playing field, but to help students in reaching their goals. So, we first asked how this scholarship could assist the recipients in pursuing their career and post-graduation dreams.

Taylor says the scholarship isn’t just about the financial aid for her business administration studies, but also celebrates and embraces diversity and inclusion.

She says the support will foster her overall academic and personal development, setting her up for success at the UofGH.

“With the financial assistance of this scholarship, I can focus more on my studies, engage in extracurricular activities, and use it as a means of support throughout my university journey,” Taylor said.

What role did your family and community play in your educational journey?

A picture of a portrait of Samara Ocansey.
Photo credits: Samara Ocansey

Getting the Black Excellence Scholarship demands more than just good grades. It’s also about showing leadership in your community, which can be quite a tough task that requires support.

Ocansey shares the pivotal role her family and community played in her educational journey, helping her qualify for this scholarship.

She emphasizes their sacrifices and guidance in shaping her values such as perseverance, resilience and determination, which have been vital throughout her academic pursuits.

“Their unwavering support, encouragement and belief in my potential have been instrumental in overcoming challenges and pursuing my goals,” Ocansey said.

What’s the importance of scholarships like this?

A picture of Matthew Oshunbiyi.
Photo credits: Matthew Oshunbiyi

As I mentioned earlier, IGNITE offers a range of scholarships – IGNITE Equity Scholarships – aimed at addressing the hurdles faced by minority groups.

Oshunbiyi emphasizes the importance of such scholarships in providing assistance to students from minority groups, motivating them to achieve academic success. He adds that these scholarships represent an investment in social progress and human potential.

“It tackles structural injustices and promotes diversity by honouring Black accomplishments. It breaks the cycle of poverty and promotes inclusivity in society by acting as a source of encouragement,” Oshunbiyi said.

What effects will this scholarship have on future generations of Humber and UofGH students?

A picture of AJ Nathaniel.
Photo credits: AJ Nathaniel

IGNITE’s goal goes beyond offering financial aid to current Humber and UofGH students; we want to have a lasting impact on future students.

Nathaniel says that by recognizing and supporting various talents, this scholarship inspires and empowers Black students to pursue higher education and strive for excellence.

She says scholarship recipients will serve as role models for future generations of Black students, inspiring them to contribute to a more inclusive society.

“As scholarship recipients graduate and enter their respective fields, they will serve as role models and advocates for diversity, equality, and inclusion, creating a ripple effect that encourages others to follow in their footsteps and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society. I am honoured to be a part of that,” Nathaniel said.

Photo credits: AJ Nathaniel, Altasia Taylor, Matthew Oshunbiyi and Samara Ocansey.

We are happy to announce the four students selected as recipients of the 2024 Black Excellence Scholarship.

IGNITE is committed to fostering a learning environment that is inclusive and free of discrimination, ensuring equal opportunities for all Humber and UofGH students.

Stay tuned for updates on the next IGNITE Equity Scholarship, the Pride Scholarship. Keep an eye on the our website for details about application dates.

If you’re looking for resources for Black, African and Caribbean people, Humber Black Student Support and Engagement helps maximize your campus experience.

Feature image via IGNITE

Do you want to know more about previous recipients? Check out the 2023 IGNITE Pride Scholarship recipients!

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