In the last Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI) fall and winter program, Aranie Sriskantharajah made her mark at 42 Division, where she was assigned.
The high-school graduate also impressed the judges tasked with reviewing the applications for the annual 42 Division/Metro Label youth scholarship donated by the Lal family.
She, and five other scholarship winners, were acknowledged at the Division and its community partners annual recognition ceremony on August 9.
“This is amazing,” Sriskantharajah said, of the $5,000 award. “I am so excited because this money will cover most of my tuition for the first year.”
A graduate of Agincourt Collegiate Institute, the teenager will begin international development and globalisation studies next month at the University of Ottawa. She plans to work for the United Nations.
Sriskantharajah is the first person in her family to pursue post-secondary education.
“I am so proud of my daughter,” said her dad. “She studies a lot and she’s a very hard worker. In fact, she started working part-time at age 15 to help our family out.”
Constable Mark Gray, who supervised Sriskantharajah while she was at the Division, isn’t surprised by her achievements.
“This young lady is a natural leader and she’s also pleasant, very organized, task-oriented, hardworking and driven to succeed. The sky is the limit for her,” he said.
The Chinese Community Liaison Committee (CCLC) presented $500 scholarships to Joanne Chan, Patricia Golaszweska and Sheila Kuria.
“It’s a nice honour to know that there is a community out there that supports you and your educational goals,” said Chan, who enters Grade 12 next month at Francis Libermann Catholic High School.
Enrolled in this summer’s Youth in Policing Initiative (YIPI program), the 18-year-old is assigned to police headquarters.
Golaszweska, who starts her Grade 11 education next semester, has lofty goals.
She intends to pursue astrophysics and physics studies at either Queen’s University or the University of Toronto. Her career goal is to join theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)as aphysicist.
LikeGolaszweska, Kuria attends Blessed Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School.
The aspiring software engineer is enrolled in the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
In the last three years, Casa de Luz banquet hall owner Alex Cho collaborated with the CCLC to support the scholarship program.
“Our organization wants to give back to the community and also help young people achieve their goals,” Cho said. “That’s why we are part of this program.”
The 42 Division Community Police Liaison Committee scholarship (CPLC) recipients were Jessica Chhouk Nguygen, who contributed over 900 hours of community service in her four years in high school, and Christine Peiris.
“You have to work hard to earn bursaries and scholarships, so I am very proud of this achievement,” said Chhouk Nguygen, who graduated from Wexford Collegiate Institute and is off to the University of Toronto to pursue life sciences studies.
“At the moment, I want to be an optometrist, but my studies can take me anywhere.”
Peiris has also done extensive volunteer work while maintaining a 90 per cent average in high school.
Dorothy Feenan, the CPLC co-chair, said the quality of the applicants for this year’s scholarships was very high.
“You were the best of a good lot,” she told this year’s recipients. “I am so impressed with how hard our young people are working and the vast contributions they are making to their community.”
Superintendent Kim Yeandle, 42 Division unit commander, thanked the donors and CPLC and CCLC volunteers
She also praised the parents for supporting the scholarship winners,
“It takes a community to build leaders and it starts at home,” she said.
Yeandle also acknowledged this year’s recipients.
“You are well on the way to doing extraordinary things and we will be happy to watch your names pop up when you are shining and say we played a little bit of a part,” she said. “That will be an honour for us.”
Staff Sergeant Andy Ecklund, the Division’s Community Response Unit manager, was the master of ceremony.