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Toronto Catholic District School Board

TCDSB Applauds Outstanding Students:

Four Students Receive Tom Leon Bursary Award

The Angel Foundation for Learning hosted an award ceremony for the Toronto Catholic District School Board Secondary School student recipients of the annual Tom Leon
Bursary Award which was presented by Connie Leon of the Tom Leon Charitable Foundation on June 23rd at the year-end Mass.
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Since 2004, the Tom Leon Charitable Foundation has been awarding $20,000 annually in student bursaries to four deserving students who require financial assistance in order to
pursue studies at a post- secondary institution. The selection of the recipients is based on a variety of criteria including (but not limited to): contributions to the school and/or
community that reflect Catholic values, financial need, volunteer work within the school or community, and personal challenges and obstacles.
Four graduating students each received $5,000 made payable to the educational institution of their choice.
Bruno Costa, St. Mary’s Secondary, has shown outstanding leadership qualities in his
school and in his community. Bruno has initiated and has participated in countless school
initiatives in an effort to make a positive change in the lives of others. He is an active
contributor to school events, leadership activities, and school justice initiatives including:
the YMCA Canada Youth Exchange, THINKFast, St. Mary’s Spirit Week, Free the
Children’s “We are Silent” event, Christmas Toy drives, civvies days, and fundraisers for
the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, just to name a few. As a devout Catholic, Bruno has a
genuine concern for the greater good. He will be studying International Economics and
Finance at Ryerson in the fall.
Folake Kayode, St. Joseph’s Morrow Park is committed to her studies as well as
leadership initiatives. She has accumulated over 600 volunteer hours, was Chair of the
Human Rights Committee for the Catholic Student United Nations Assembly, has assisted
with organizing the St. Joseph’s Morrow Park grade 9 religion retreat and the school’s
2014 passion play, was Premier of her student council, and she has participated in a variety
of conferences, debates and leadership activities. Folake is also an active volunteer in her
local community. She is a Catechism Teacher Assistant, a Camp Counsellor for Marygrove
Summer Camp and a volunteer at Sick Kids Hospital. She will study Biomedical
Engineering at Ryerson University in the fall.
Simeon Charles, Blessed Mother Teresa is an active volunteer for his school and
community. He organized and participated in many student leadership and school events,
including: iLITE, Voices that Challenge, Raising Youth Together, the Circling our Angels
of Hope conference, the Terry Fox Run, Proudly Pinoy event, Camp Olympia, Smile Camp
and much more. In his local community, Simeon participated and helped organize many
events including the Zombie Run for Cancer, the Toronto Cops and Kids event, a Selestian
Leadership Retreat and a TED Talks Youth Symposium. Simeon was accepted to the
Child Youth Care program at Fanshawe College where he will fulfill his dream of helping
others as a Child and Youth Worker.
Emily Palaganas, Madonna is actively involved as a volunteer and member of various
school events, including CSLIT, the Environmental Activists Team, the Madonna
Ambassador Club, Do It Yourself workshops, the Robotics Club, Peer Ministry, school
liturgies and masses, and the CEMC Math Contest in Waterloo, all while maintaining a
90% grade average. Her impressive grades are a result of her determination and dedication
to her goals. Emily is also a global activist and has participated in the Philippines Study
and Leadership Program in the Philippines where she offered service in the construction of
new homes for the homeless, volunteered at an orphanage, taught children in the village
and interacted with the poor. Emily will be studying Life Sciences at the University of
Toronto St. George Campus in the fall.
“We are most appreciative of the Leon family’s contribution to support these four students
and provide them with an equal opportunity for post-secondary education.” said Marisa
Celenza, Executive Director, The Angel Foundation for Learning.