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Congratulations to our 2021 EKO Scholarship Winners

September 15, 2021

The Board of Directors of Empowered Kids Ontario-Enfants Avenir Ontario congratulates all of the 2021 EKO Scholars, who were selected through a competitive process by a jury of leaders in healthcare, education, child development services, former EKO scholars, and those with lived experience of disability. The scholarships support the next generation of leadership by rewarding superior academic performance and community service.

“From the number of applications we received to the strength and accomplishments of the applicants, this year highlights our scholars’ incredible drive to pursue their post-secondary education and personal goals,” says EKO Chair Penny Smiley.

EKO’s inaugural Indigenous Scholar is Evan McDonald, an honours student who graduated from Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora. Evan is pursuing Health Studies at Queen’s University with the intention of applying to medical school, and ultimately addressing the disparity of health resources for under-served populations. “As I look ahead to my career, one of my key goals is to give back to my home region. Growing up in northwestern Ontario, I am aware that it can be challenging to attract physicians to our region who will stay and provide vital health services. I am excited by the opportunity afforded to me as a post-secondary student to engage in the necessary training and develop trust and community partnerships, and make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

“This year’s EKO Scholars are honour roll students, athletes—including a Paralympian in training with his goal set on the 2024 Paris games, a recipient of a Governor General’s Caring Canadian award, advocates, actors, public speakers, mentors, and aspiring novelists,” says EKO CEO Jennifer Churchill. “Their accomplishments are impressive.”

All six EKO Scholars are attending college and university programs across Ontario, studying game development, arts and science, business law, health sciences, developmental services, and recreation therapy.

Please join EKO in congratulating our outstanding 2021 EKO Scholarship recipients. We wish every one educational, professional and personal success:

Bryce Desrochers

Thalia Avgousti

Evan McDonald

Owen DiManno

Dylan Kingston

Katrina Lamothe


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Did You Hear?!

EKO Spring Symposium is Back in 2025!

Every two years EKO hosts this pinnacle event for the child development sector and the largest gathering of professionals and stakeholders from Ontario and across Canada.

learn more about the event!