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Empowered Kids Ontario Announces the 2023 EKO Scholars

September 18, 2023

Empowered Kids Ontario (EKO) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 EKO Scholarship. This honour was created to help Ontario students with disabilities and developmental differences achieve the life they want through post-secondary and graduate education. 

“Congratulations to the 2023 EKO Scholars! The Review Committee was impressed by the calibre of this year’s applicants, and the promise they show for Ontario and for Canada,” says Tom Walters, Chair of EKO’s Board of Directors. “The 2023 EKO scholars are impressive in their commitment to reconciliation, accessibility, diversity and equity, and their compelling visions for the future.” 

The program awards up to six scholarships annually, including a scholarship that is exclusive to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth, in the amount of $2,500. Applicants must have received services from an EKO member organization. Those interested in the EKO Scholarship submit letters of recommendation and are asked to tell us about themselves through a creative project or essay describing what motivates them to enter their chosen field of study or work, who inspires them, or how they share their talents, knowledge and skills. The Review Committee includes previous EKO Scholars and members of EKO’s Board of Directors.

Post-secondary education is an important element for achieving independence, yet people with disabilities are less likely to attend and complete post-secondary education than those without disabilities. 

The 2023 Scholars are pursuing studies in law, honours English, performing arts, media studies, mathematics, and nuclear engineering at Ontario colleges and universities. 

“We are so proud to provide this support to Ontario youth each year, empowering kids to achieve their educational goals and career dreams,” says EKO CEO Jennifer Churchill. “This year’s EKO Scholars each have different personal and academic interests. We look forward to seeing the impact they will make in their chosen fields, and in our world."

Applications for the 2024 EKO Scholarships will open in December. Click here to learn more about the program

Meet our 2023 EKO Scholars 

Read about EKO Scholar Robel (Robbie) Dersuma

Read about EKO Scholar Sophie Sutherland 

Read about EKO Scholar Tai Young 

Read about EKO Scholar Martin Leduc 

Read about EKO Scholar Logan Chalmers 

Read about EKO Scholar Erin Arbuckle


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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!