Content via Georgina Advocate
Keswick teenager Jason Harper’s smile was worth a thousand words — and the medal and paper to go with it — after he was one of 42 students across the country to receive a scholarship awarded by the Diabetes Hope Foundation last month.
The DHF Contitech Scholarship program was established to recognize youth in the community who have excelled in their academic achievements, demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and volunteerism in the community, and possess exemplary diabetes self-management practices.
Harper was chosen for consistently demonstrating all of those attributes and for not letting diabetes stand in the way of working diligently to achieve his goals.
In addition to volunteering in his community, Harper was chosen for excelling in all his studies, being an honour roll student and the recipient of numerous academic awards.
Harper, as well as all the students chosen, outlined the challenges and triumphs they experience through their personal stories in their entry essays.
Harper will be entering post-secondary studies in the fall in hopes of becoming a teacher.
DHF’s flagship, the scholarship program, has awarded 590 scholarships since its inception 18 years ago and has evolved to include a mentorship element leveraging the experiences of past scholarship recipients to help other young adults navigate the complexities and challenges of embarking on post-secondary education while living with diabetes.
“We’re grateful to our generous donors and dedicated volunteers who help us propel even more young people with diabetes toward post-secondary education and reaching their full potential,” said Barbara Pasternak, founder of Diabetes Hope Foundation.
“Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients and thank you to the fabulous alumni who ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring the next generation so they are ready to be tomorrow’s leaders.”
The unique scholarship awards program recognizes what no other program does — that young people living with diabetes must have an unwavering commitment to managing their health.
It recognizes that once an adolescent reaches the age of 18, they are transitioning from pediatric care to a more self-directed adult health care program.
Diabetes Hope Foundation created its flagship scholarship program to encourage young adults with diabetes to continue their education and to provide financial and peer-to-peer support to supplement this already financially and emotionally demanding time in their lives as they move into post-secondary education.
Diabetes Hope Foundation has invested more than $1.7 million in education grants to support communities across Canada since 1999.