Youth Awards

The ministry of Eglinton St. George’s United Church has been building community in North Toronto for over a century! We strive to offer extravagant welcome to our community, we lift up the importance of building leadership skills and encourage growth in the lives of those with whom we connect.

In this spirit, the Youth Ministry Working Group, established a bursary at ESG for high school students in grades 9 – 12 who are living out these goals in how they engage with the world and lift up others.

The “Frederic Mens and Helen Jameson Fund” at ESG was established in 1991 by Rod Mens, who wanted to honour the life of his father and the woman who had helped his dad’s family growing up. In some of those difficult years, Helen Jameson, a member of St. George’s United Church, and a friend of many years, relieved the burden by contributing materially and lovingly to the family. There have not been many draws on the fund in the recent past the trustees have build the initial endowment to over $125,000. The trustees connected with Neil Mens (Rod’s son) who thinks this bursary is a worthwhile use of the fund.

Administering scholarships is one of the ways that the financial resources of the trustees is being accessed to help us live out our goals as a congregation working to build the ministry we share together.

Award recipients will each receive $1000. This year, our six award recipients will take part in a zoom celebration with the congregation and make a brief presentation video about the transformative work they do in their community.

Our 2020 Award Recipients

Conrad Fernandez

My name is Conrad Fernandez and I am senior student at Leaside High School. Being the recipient of the ESG bursary is an honour for which I am grateful and that I will cherish forever. I was raised by my mother, an immigrant, who taught me at a very young age the importance of giving back to the community. To this date, she still volunteers to help others. I started volunteering when I was 13-years-old. My community involvement in different organizations taught me that helping others kindles happiness. In university, my goal is to become a computer engineer so that I can participate in the development of technologies that can make the world a better place for everyone. Throughout my life, I’ve seen the advancement of technology and how much it impacts and benefits our society. Seeing these amazing things inspires me to work hard and be part of this advancement. In university, I will join many clubs geared towards developing technology and work with my peers to make beneficial products for society.

Angelica Lee

I would like to thank the Youth Ministry Committee so much for helping me pursue my career in social work. Ever since I could write my name, I have always loved to help others. Whether it was serving dinner to those less fortunate, representing the fallen through reading “In Flanders Fields” at a Queen’s Park Remembrance Day ceremony or teaching younger students self-defence, I want to devote my time and kindness towards others. I enjoy volunteering with youth at church summer day camp, karate class, and Royal Canadian Air Cadets. I look forward to future opportunities where I can continue to give back and be a light.

Helena Kirk

My name is Helena Kirk and I am 14. When I was three years old, I endured 841 days of chemotherapy and 650 procedures to beat cancer. It was during this journey that I learned about inequitable access to childhood cancer treatment in Canada, and how a tragic number of kids are dying as a result.

I founded “Helena’s Hope”, an advocacy group with a mission to find more pathways for Canadian Kids to survive cancer.  In 2018, I managed to get support from over 150 childhood cancer families, 31 cancer organizations and 30 paediatric oncologists for a proposal. In 2019, the Liberals made an election promise of $30 million and Prime Minister Trudeau made the commitment in the new Minister of Health’s mandate letter that childhood cancer would be a priority.

Mariana Toth

My name is Mariana Toth. I have always participated in extracurriculars, and have been awarded with the “Leadership and Sports Award,” representing my efforts towards helping students feel included. For the past 5 years I have attended my local church’s annual food drive, and I also volunteer at Project Sunshine’s head office. This organization provides free educational and social programs to children in hospitals. I always tell friends about new volunteering opportunities because there is no one organization that is better than the others; they all have their own purposes and all work towards a greater good.

Zoe MacKeracher

I am Zoe MacKeracher, a Grade 12 student at North Toronto. Throughout high school, I’ve been volunteering at many schools in the YRDSB and TDSB. I volunteer at these schools because I want to be someone who influences and encourages  younger generations to be the best versions of themselves. I plan on continuing my education at McMaster University for their Labour Studies Program. After that, I plan on getting my non-profit certificate and study law so I can become a children’s defence lawyer and advocate for children who are in need and unable to afford a defence on their own. 

William Dennison

Good afternoon, my name is William Dennison and I will be graduating from grade 12. I would like to thank you for awarding me the Helen Jameson, Rod Mens ESG Bursary. Five years ago my brother and I started a business doing different jobs for our neighbours, such as snow shovelling and mail collection. I have recently travelled to Kenya as part of MeToWe and helped to build classrooms in a small community. This was an experience that I will never forget! I have chosen to attend Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Students at St.FX do a lot of community service work in the surrounding community. I think this is one of the reasons St.FX will be a good fit for me. Thank you again for this award.