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OTA Education Foundation announces scholarship winners, new scholarship

TORONTO, Ont. -- The OTA Education Foundation handed out more than $30,000 in scholarships to college and universit...

TORONTO, Ont. — The OTA Education Foundation handed out more than $30,000 in scholarships to college and university students last month. Twenty-five Ontario-based students who are children of parents who work in the trucking industry each received funding to go towards their post-secondary education tuition fees and other academic expenses.

Nearly 75 students applied this year for scholarships, noted the Foundations executive director, Betsy Sharples. As part of the Foundations recent review and modest restructuring, this years applicants were asked to demonstrate a general understating of the importance of Ontarios trucking industry to the provinces economy and our general standard of living.

In addition to submitting an academic transcript, each student was asked to complete an essay that answered, Why is the trucking industry important to Ontarios economy? in order for his/her application to be considered for a scholarship.

It was great to read the essays that were sent in as part of the students application packages, said Scott Smith, chairman of the OTA Education Foundation. Our goal of enlightening some Ontario post-secondary students about the trucking industry was clearly met with respect to this years applicants. In some cases, the students really did quite a bit of research to answer the question.

All scholarship applications had to be sponsored by an Ontario trucking or allied product/service company that employs one of the students parents in order to be considered for an award. In addition, one outstanding student entering university from high school was awarded the J. O. Goodman Award, and one outstanding student entering college from high school was awarded the C. V. Hoar Award.

J. O. Goodman Award

The OTA Education Foundation awarded the J. O. Goodman Award to Melanie Cosgrove, a Mississauga-based student headed to McGill University in Montreal and enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program. Cosgrove was chosen as the outstanding first-year university applicant by the OTA Education Foundations Selection Committee. J. O. Goodman applicants are assessed on their secondary school academic achievement, service to community and volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, as well as an essay on the trucking industry.

In a field of outstanding applications, Cosgrove, a student graduating from Lorne Park Secondary School in Mississauga with an average mark of 94 %, stood out with her accomplishments. She achieved the highest marks in most, if not all, of her classes in each of her four years in high school, while participating in a diverse range of activities, such as leadership in her schools fundraiser for the Childrens Wish Foundation. In addition to making the honour roll each year, she was also recognized as school Valedictorian and received the Academic Excellence Award, the Math Award, and the Cooperative Education Award.

C.V. Hoar Award

The OTA Education Foundation awarded the C. V. Hoar Award to Kristy MacDonald, a former student of St. John Catholic High School in Perth, Ont. located southwest of Ottawa. MacDonald is now attending Seneca College in Markham, Ont. where she will continue the family tradition of working in the transportation industry when she embarks on a two-year program on Travel and Tourism Flight Service.

Both MacDonalds father and grandfather have roots in trucking, with her father currently working as a driver for Cavalier Transportation Services in Bolton, Ont.

C.V. Hoar applicants are assessed on their secondary school academic achievement, service to community and volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, as well as an essay on the trucking industry.

MacDonalds commitment to her community is evident, say OTA officials. She has helped out at a local elementary school working in several primary grade classrooms. She has also been a volunteer at her church in Perth for eight years taking care of toddlers during the church service. In addition, she has supported several community fundraisers such as the Ride for Dad program (in support of prostrate cancer research), Jump Start (in support of assisting underprivileged children participate in sports), as well as at the local Blood Donor Clinic and the Relay for Life.

The C. V. Hoar Scholarship Award winner is selected each year from all qualifying scholarship applications from students who are entering their first year post-secondary studies at a recognized college.

Grants Transport Scholarship

Grants Transport of New Liskeard, Ont. has also awarded its first academic scholarship under the OTA Education Foundations endowed scholarship program.

The scholarship was awarded to Benjamin Hutten-Czapski, a first-year student enrolled in Chemical Engineering studies (Bachelors Degree) at the University of Ottawa. The scholarship was announced last November, and is awarded each year to the top university-bound math student at Timiskaming District Secondary School, also located in New Liskeard.

Not only is this years recipient accomplished in the mathematics component, he also had the highest overall average mark in his graduating class, having also been awarded the Governor Generals Medal for being top in all classes. Upon completion of his under-graduate degree, Hutten-Czapski hopes to attend medical school.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Hutten-Czapski is involved with the Ottawa Chapter of the Childrens AIDS Health Program as the media representative as well as several other volunteer positions. He has also co-founded his own organization called Spread TREES not AIDS, which has a dual focus on the environment and HIV/AIDS awareness.

The Grants Transport Scholarship Award is awarded annually and funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation.

Erb Group community scholarship

In related news, the New Hamburg, Ont.-based Erb Group of Companies has established a scholarship that will recognize one first-year university or college student each year who exemplifies the greatest community spirit and/or charitable involvement.

We feel privileged in many ways to be able to help educate an individual each year who is already an asset to his/her community, says Vernon Erb, president of Erb. We feel so strongly at Erb about the importance of community service, that it is included in our Mission Statement.

The Service to Community Scholarship is available to any student enrolled in his/her first year of post-secondary studies a recognized Canadian university or college. The scholarship will be awarded annually and is funded by an endowed fund administered by the OTA Education Foundation. The scholarship application form is available at

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