RAY’s Place awards three scholarships

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Thanks to the RAY’s Place Scholarship program and the generosity of  two Clearview and Mumur donors, three area students will receive academic scholarships for their planned studies at university.

Vincent Halis will receive $5,000 each year for four years and Rosalyn Martin and Joe Sammon will each receive $2,500 each year for four years.

In awarding the scholarships, RAY’s Place Scholarship Selection Committee Chair James McSherry said that the committee was again faced with the challenge of selecting the scholarship recipients from a strong field of candidates.

“The applicants not only demonstrated academic excellence, but they also provided leadership in their schools and in their communities.  We expect they will all excel in their post-secondary education programs,” he said.

For most of his life, Vince Halis has been interested in the mechanics of moving things.

“What I find fascinating,” he says, “Is a mechanism that is simplistically elegant yet mathematically complicated at the same time.”

So it was a clear choice for him to choose to study mechanical engineering and he was thrilled to be accepted into the program at Queen’s University.

A Mulmur resident, Halis graduated from Central Dufferin District High School where, in addition to earning top marks, he was a member and then a leader of the Centre Dufferin robotics team.

To enter in the First Robotics competition, the team had six weeks to conceive and then create a robot. Halis also found time to develop a lunchtime, non-profit fitness program for fellow students and to teach elementary school students to play the saxophone – his favourite musical instrument.

For the past three summers he has worked in and around Creemore in property maintenance and landscaping.

In addition to attending classes, he is looking forward to continuing his passion for robotics and discovering the engineering-related extracurricular activities that Queen’s has to offer.

Rosalyn Martin graduated from Nottawasaga Pines in 2016 with a 93 per cent average, where she was the vice-president of the student council, an active volunteer in Global Action and was the class valedictorian.

Believing that learning comes in many different styles and formats, she opted to take a gap year to work as an au pair in Milan, despite the fact she didn’t speak a word of Italian.

Living with a family, looking after two young girls, while learning the language, she also had an opportunity to travel to neighbouring countries.

“It was a year of global learning,” she says. “I feel as if I will be starting university with newly acquired skills, a new perspective and a greater understanding of cultural differences.”

Martin is heading to Queen’s to major in Geography and Global Studies where she plans to join the Alma Mater Society Italian Club so that she can continue to speak Italian.

“Being bilingual opens many doors to success,” she says.

Her ultimate goal on graduation is to attend law school, followed by a career in human rights or international law, helping people in First Nation communities or with refugees seeking asylum.

A Collingwood Collegiate Institute honour roll student, Joe Sammon won the Simcoe County School Board Excellence in Education Award, the Collingwood Optimism Youth Leadership Award and for excellence in academics and athletics, the Ian Sinclair Memorial Award and the Jordan Guardhouse Award.

The hard working, high achiever was also president of the CCI athletic council and class valedictorian.

Sammon’s valedictory message was a humorous look at how four years made the class members the better people that they are today.

He describes his summer job as head lifeguard and swim instructor at Collingwood Centennial Pool as “the perfect job for me – with children around water.”

Kinesiology was a natural choice for Sammon who was looking for a scientific approach that would lead to graduate school and a career in physiotherapy or teaching.

He first heard of the kinesiology program at Acadia University from a previous Ray’s Place Scholarship winner. The more he researched the program, the more he felt this was the university for him.

“One of the reasons I picked Acadia,” he says, “is SMILE  – an extra curricular program where students donate time to help local kids not as fortunate as we are.”

Giving back is what it’s all about for Joe.

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