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RBC announces Black History Month Student Essay Competition scholarship winners

TORONTO, February 6, 2015 -  As the cost of tuition continues to rise, scholarships are helping students to offset some of those costs. Today, twenty deserving high school students were awarded scholarships from RBC for their essays on how black Canadians have helped to define Canada’s diverse heritage and identity. The winning submissions were chosen from a record-number of entries from across the country, including the three top scholarship winners:

  • $5,000: Emma Cohen, Waterloo Collegiate Institute (Waterloo, Ont.), who wrote about a pair of storytellers who have made an indelible mark on society – generations apart – and inspired her to be the best she can be.
  • $2,500: Preston Simmons, Auburn Drive High School (East Preston, N.S.), who wrote about the power of music as a means of inciting societal change.
  • $1,500: Emmett Bisbee, Barrie Central Collegiate (Barrie, Ont.), who wrote about Lincoln Alexander’s extensive political contributions to Canada.

Winners were selected by a panel of esteemed community leaders, including Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education.

“Recognizing the contributions of black Canadians is very important, and all the students did so with great skill and passion,” said Dr. Chandler-Crichlow. “Every applicant should be proud of the work they’ve done.”

Other winners, receiving a $500 scholarship from the RBC Foundation, are:

  • Zoe MacEachern (Cole Harbour, N.S.)
  • Sebastian Baretto (Burnaby, B.C.)
  • Rebecca Conrod (Ottawa, Ont.)
  • Victor Lal (Toronto, Ont.)
  • Estelle Annan (Vaughan, Ont.)
  • Grace Likungu (Ajax, Ont.)
  • Charles Tillman (St. Catharines, Ont.)
  • Sajine Sathiesalen (Markham, Ont.)
  • Nour Hanafi (Milton, Ont.)
  • Adam Gronowski (Sarnia, Ont.)
  • Mirabelle Harris-Eze (Calgary, Alta.)
  • Emily Gray (Norton, N.B.)
  • Ruby-Anne Fines (Brookside, N.S.)
  • Hassan Abdulrahman (Barrie, Ont.)
  • Grace Delevante (Ottawa, Ont.)
  • Conor Hubley (Tantallon, N.S.)
  • Karina Pelletier (Toronto, Ont.).

”The history of African Canadians is so essential to the Canadian narrative and an integral part of the broader Canadian story,” said Kim Mason, RBC regional president for Greater Toronto. “These students have done a wonderful job of honouring that rich national heritage.”

Each Friday in February, you can read five of the top essays at, including the three top scholarship winning essays on February 27.

RBC’s scholarship programs are part of our RBC Kid’s Pledge, our five year, $100 million commitment to kids and youth.

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For more details, contact:
Ciaran Dickson, RBC, 416-313-7947