The OTA Education Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Endowed Scholarships, which were established by trucking industry organizations under the Foundation’s Endowed Scholarship Program.

The Bison Transport Scholarship was awarded to Rachel Kehl, a resident of New Hamburg, Ontario who is currently enrolled in her first year at the University Waterloo where she is studying for a degree in Global Business & Digital Arts. Rachel, inspired by Eduardo Galeano, who said: Many small people, in small places, doing small things can change the world”, hopes to “connect with others who are also passionate about making a difference in their own way, however small”.

The Bison Transport Scholarship is awarded to one post-secondary student who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to his/her academic studies as well as community service, and who is enrolled in full time studies in Transportation, Logistics, Human Resources, or Business at a recognized university or college in Canada.

The Erb Group of Companies “Service to Community” Scholarship was awarded to Harry Qu, a resident of Nepean, Ontario and a Mathematics student at the University of Waterloo. Harry, who has committed more than 700 hours to community service, hopes to continue to experience the “joy of volunteerism”. In addition to several volunteer leadership roles with school clubs and committees, Harry has volunteered teaching hours with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, mentored at ListenSpeakLead Youth Leadership Program, and volunteered with several youth service groups such as World University Service of Canada,Christie Lake Kids, and All Nations International Development Agency.

The Erb Group of Companies “Service to Community” Scholarship is awarded to a first-year post-secondary student enrolled in a recognized college or university who demonstrates a commitment to his/her community, through his/her involvement in community and/or charitable volunteer work.

The JD Smith and Sons “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship was awarded to Victoria Lacey, whose application was sponsored by Wabash Canada in Kitchener. Victoria just started her fourth and final year in the Creative Industries program at Ryerson University. Outside the classroom, Victoria has assumed several leadership roles making the arts more inclusive for people with disabilities, and in helping people with disabilities improve their overall health and wellness. Confined to a wheelchair since the age of two due to a rare neuromuscular disease, Victoria has travelled around the country as an advocate speaking on behalf of all patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) to persuade lawmakers to approve provincial funding for SMA therapy. She is also working to help children with SMA get access to current and future treatments.

The J. D. Smith and Sons “Leaders of Tomorrow” Scholarship recognizes one university student who is the child of a parent who works in the Ontario trucking industry, and demonstrates exemplary leadership qualities through undertakings in his/her community, school or other volunteer work.

The OTA Professional Driver Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Mackenzie Peters, whose father has spent 6 of his 30-year driving career working for Wilson Truck Lines, the employer that sponsored Mackenzie’s application.  Mackenzie is a second-year student at North Bay’s Nipissing University where she is studying for a Bachelor of Physical Health & Education degree. Mackenzie takes pride that in spite of being “a bit of a workaholic”, her dad always made a point to “attend parent picnics, graduations, parent-teacher interviews, and hockey tournaments”. She continues to look to her dad for advice.

The OTA Professional Driver Memorial Scholarship recognizes the hard work, dedication and professionalism of all Ontario truck drivers, and honours the memory of those who have lost their lives while driving on-the-job. Applicants must be the child of a commercial driver who has been driving professionally for a minimum of 5 years.

The OTA Allied Trades University Scholarship was awarded to Matthew Myles who just started his third year at the University of Western Ontario where he is working on earning a Bachelor of Science degree. Once he completes his undergraduate degree, Matthew plans to apply to medical school to become a doctor specializing in endocrinology.

The OTA Allied Trades College Scholarship was awarded to Ryan Soetemans who recently started his second of a three-year diploma program in Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology at Sarnia’s Lambton College. After completing this program, Ryan has set a goal of also obtaining his electrical license.

The OTA Allied Trades Scholarships are awarded annually to one university and one college student, each of whom has completed at least one year of post-secondary education, and who has demonstrated a strong commitment to his/her academic performance.

The OTA Education Foundation’s Endowed Scholarship program is funded entirely by one-time contributions by the organizations for which the scholarships are named. The eligibility and assessment criteria are determined jointly between the endowed fund contributors and the Foundation, who also administers the scholarship program. For more information on the OTA Education Foundation go to:

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