Morgan Hanson-Olveira is a Grade 12 student at R.D Parker Collegiate and she has been offered two of the three most prestigious scholarships in Canada. However, she could only choose one. Hanson-Olveira turned down the Schulich Leader Scholarship, worth $60,000 to accept the TD Canada scholarship for $70,000.
Dr. Jane Thompson, executive director of TD scholarships for community leadership, says the scholarship prepares these future innovators with the things they need, to eventually change the world. “We pay four years of tuition, and each of those four years we give the student $7,500 to help with their living expenses, and we also offer them a summer job at TD each year.”
Hanson-Olveira was one of 20 students across Canada to receive the scholarship, beating out 2,480 other applications, and Thompson says the R.D Parker student received it for her community work. Hanson-Olveira is part of Students Offering Support (SOS), which she says she’s grateful for, because after joining that group her motivation to help people has grown. With the help of SOS, Hanson-Olveira has been raising awareness surrounding mental health in the community. She’s also helped raise money with the H3 group, Hands, Hearts and Hope, to build a school in Sierra Leone, as well as donating over 600 pounds of food to the Salvation Army this past October. The need for social justice, and helping the world out, Hanson-Olveira says, started in Grade 3 when her teacher showed a video about a girl, and all she had was one straw doll. Since watching that video, she’s been doing her part to create a better place for people to live.
When applying for the scholarship, Hanson-Olveira said she never expected to be awarded it. The future University of Manitoba student hopes to go into medicine. “Specifically I want to be a pediatric endocrinologist. When I was six I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, so when I’m older I want to work with children who have diabetes as well, because I feel like I can relate to them.”
On May 29, the Thompsonite travelled to Toronto to accept her scholarship. “The people who I met in Toronto, the other scholars, they’re going to be my friends for life, I just know. We all share something in common,” noted Hanson-Olveira.
Hanson-Olveira says none of this could have happened without her teachers. “I want to thank all my teachers for everything they’ve done. They’ve inspired me, they’re supported me, they’ve helped me when I’ve fallen, and I couldn’t have done it without them. There are so many other individuals out there, doing things for their communities as well. Never would I have thought I could have got it. It’s been wonderful. All my family is really excited for me.”
Kelly Scallion, teaching vice-principal for R.D Parker, says it warms her heart watching Hanson-Olveira succeed. “Seeing your students go out, and make an exciting accomplishments is great. I’m so proud of her with or without these scholarships. It’s so exciting to see what she’s going to do in the future, when she finds different cures, and when she’s successful and making an impact on the world, in whatever way she chooses to.”