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Recipient of the Mary Ann Shadd Cary Black Legends Bursary: SIMONE




Carleton University

Field of Study/ Major

Journalism and Human Rights & Social Justice

Please share what the Bursary program has meant for you so far in your post-secondary journey (mentorship, financial aid, career assistance)

The program has given me the privilege to be a full time student. This means I have been able to completely commit to my academic and career responsibilities and ambitions. Honestly, I know I have the skills to do all I listed in my highlights but this program made it possible for me to explore the opportunities that made my accomplishments a reality for me. In short, academic focus is hard to have when you’re trying to pay off school. I know this because it’s the story of my parents, my friends, and colleagues. This program has allowed me to have a different story, one that gives me the privilege to have academic freedom to get more out of my post-secondary education than classes, readings, and assignments. I’m able to focus on the soft skills I can improve on and get an early start at building my career. As for that building my career part, I have access to people apart of making this program possible who are genuinely committed to helping me be successful. Not only goes it feel good to have those types of people in my corner but also to have access to the advice and skills they have too. Also, I get to focus on improving my writing and getting my work out there for publishing and pursue others ways I can improve my school as well (to leave it better than when I came, even in the smallest way).

⁠Any comments you would like to share about being matched with the Black Legend that your September 2023 Bursary was named after

In grade 5 for Black History Month, we had to do presentations on famous Black individuals. I remember wanting to be more original, and not wanting to do some of the more common icons that we hear during February. So my mom introduced me to Mary Ann Shad and I did my presentation on her. And in case you were wondering, the presentation went very well. At the time I had no interest in being a journalist. I was just finishing my last year of dance and starting my newest passion at the time which was track and field. However, as you can see, I found my way back to journalism and in a way you can say it started with Shad and that presentation. It is an absolute honour to have been paired with not only a Black legend, but a journalism icon. Not only is she one of the many Black journalists that I look up to, but the impact she made for the Black community, the Black liberation movement, Black women, and Black journalists, including the journalism industry as a whole, is one I hope to make as well. She’s a trailblazer in the field that I’m currently pursuing, and I am walking in the footsteps that she first forged. So to be matched with Shad also gives me a boost of confidence that not only am I on the right track but I can in fact make big waves and big change like she did; waves and change that is not only important in its time, but impactful in its longevity. That I can forge new paths for young ambitious, Black journalists that will arise after me.

2023 Academic/Personal Highlight

- EDI Director for Her Campus at Carleton magazine

- Student Director on the Charlatan newspaper Board of Directors (The motion still needs to be officially approved on Jan 28 meeting)

- Research Assistant (for my first year history professor)

- Summer assistant at Digital Story Tellers

- Made the Dean’s List after first year

- Top of my program in first year: received a scholarship from Carleton for it

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