Scholars 2016

Roshawnah Forde



My Cover Letter

My name is Roshawnah Forde and I am currently finishing my last year of high school at North Albion Collegiate Institute. Once I graduate I will attend York University at the Glendon campus, and get a undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology, In hopes of getting into Osgoode Law School for family and corporate law. In my free time I enjoy working with Trust 15 Ladies On The Rise And Men Of Distinction facilitating activities, workshops, and fun experiences with youth between the ages of 6-18 in multiple literacy and leadership/mentorship programs. Overall I enjoy serving others and I would love to be a Brilliant Minded Women Scholar.

My Career Goals

My name is Roshawnah Kelly- Ann Forde and I am 18 years old. In September 2016, I will be attending York University at the bilingual Glendon campus to study philosophy and psychology in order to become a successful family and corporate lawyer. My career goals are simple and short however, they have the ability to create a large impact. First, I want to become a successful and stable lawyer in a large company with room for promotion. Once I follow through on my first goal my second goal is to carry on the legacy of Trust 15, the non-profit organization responsible for the development of my leadership skills. I want to continue the work of creating and running of programs for not only the youth of rexdale, but the youth all at risk neighbourhoods in Toronto. These are my goals because it is essential that we create youth mentorship programs in all of our communities, in order to foster the leadership skills of confidence, communication, and commitment. I want to make sure that children in underprivileged communities have a safe haven where they can be inspired to create change and inspire others just as I plan to do. I believe in the 3 C’s of leadership which are commitment, confidence and communication coupled with the future ace characteristics of teamwork, integrity, and honesty. I believe that all those things will happen with the right amount of effort and work.

Marilyn Marco



I was homeschooled from Kindergarten up until grade 10, that’s when I made the conscious decision to start attending a public high school. During my time homeschooling I was lucky enough to experience a variety of extracurriculars such as traveling, horseback riding, volunteering around my city, competitive karate, and competitive piano, among other things. However, with the new transition came new challenges that I was ready to face and try my best to go above and beyond. Within the first year of attending the public school, I was an honour roll student, MVP of the cheerleading team and won the student council elections. Over the years at this new school I also joined track and field, the Math club, the school magazine, and student council for a second term. Additionally I was an active member in my school’s art department as a musician and a senior artist, and a Math tutor. Overall as I matured into my late teens going into adulthood I learned to appreciate where I came from and those who have supported me while I continue to grow and experience all I can.
I will be attending the University of Toronto Mississauga campus in the upcoming fall term to study under the Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics undergraduate program. In the future I would love to work in a field that combines both my love for Math and the Sciences with my passion for the Arts.
In addition to my studies, I became a Brilliant Minded Women scholar to help other students and peers be able to express their creativity for their passions mixed with business and entrepreneurial skills. In the hopes that many people can build upon what they like to do and form a prosperous and fulfilling career out of it.

Olivia Kawecki



My name is Olivia Kawecki and I am a 3rd year undergraduate student attending Western University. Backtracking a few years to my high school days, I have always been actively involved in school and giving back to my community. Throughout my first two years of high school I was a member of Loyola’s Swim Team, Cross Country Team and the H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Everywhere) club where I would visit elders at a retirement home, plant trees in the community and create fundraising events to raise money for the children our school was sponsoring overseas. Outside of school I volunteered at my local community centre as an assistant swim instructor and at the Daily Bread Food Bank. In my spare time I continued to take classes in Latin dancing for the 12th year in a row. All those years of dedication and practice paid off as it led my dance partner and I to an experience of a lifetime- opening up for a DWTS show at the Rogers Centre. During the summer of grade 10 I took up two jobs in the food industry and somewhere in the midst of that I managed to earn my National Lifesaving Service certificate. As a senior in high school I decided to take piano lessons to de-stress myself from school work and take on a new hobby. I also volunteered my time after school hours to students who were struggling with the maths and sciences not only because it was extremely rewarding seeing them improve academically but because I knew just how important doing well in school was for their future.

After graduating high school from Loyola CSS as an Ontario Scholar as well as Polish School from Erindale SS, I finally moved out to Western University to pursue a BMSc degree with an Honours Specialization in Biochemistry of Infection and Immunity. In my second year of university, I took on a campus job and successfully co-wrote a scientific research article alongside four other students which is to be published in the WURJ once the school year resumes.

Currently, I am preparing to write my MCAT in hopes of becoming a physician because I have a love for learning, desire to promote health and help other people. By joining this amazing group of truly brilliant women from all walks of life, I have become inspired by their passions, successes and career-driven mindsets. Words cannot express how grateful I am for being chosen as a scholar and for all those individuals that have supported and continue to support this organization. Through fundraising efforts, I hope to pay this support forward in the hopes that future BMW scholars may also have the same opportunity as myself in achieving higher education and becoming successful leaders of our future.

Jessica Myles



My name is Jessica Myles and I am currently beginning my first year of studies at the University of Western Ontario. Pursuing a dual degree in both Global Economics and Business Administration at the Richard Ivey School of Business, it is my goal in the upcoming years to build a solid foundation in the fields of both economics and consulting. Throughout my high school career in Mississauga, I took many opportunities both within my school and within my community to join organizations that allowed me to build leadership skills and give back to the city that raised me. At The Woodlands Secondary School, I served as the Athletic Association President, a position where I worked tirelessly to provide students of all athletic capabilities an opportunity to stay active at school. I was not only able to put on a variety of intramural leagues, a year-end banquet, and other athletic events; but under my leadership we finished off the year with budget surplus that will work hugely to support the future of the club. Within my community, I have served as the Co-Chair of the Mississauga City Youth Council, a youth-led non-profit organization that aims to get Mississauga youth more involved in municipal politics, as well as provide youth opportunities to connect with local businesses and business leaders. Most notably, in 2014 we hosted a youth-oriented municipal election debate that achieved the highest turnout of the election season and included future mayor Bonnie Crombie.

Overall, I’m thrilled to be a Brilliant Minded Women Scholar as this foundation complements my passion for leadership and is doing amazing work to support young women, such as myself, who are looking to build their networks and become successful business leaders.

Katarzyna Wajda



My name is Katarzyna Wajda, and I am one of the scholars of the Brilliant Minded Women Foundation. My family and childhood friends call me Kasia, which is my Polish name, and my work friends call me Kat. I am very proud to be a member of this amazing foundation, and look forward to learning more about my community and myself.

My cultural background is Polish. I was born here in Canada, but am very immersed in the Polish culture. I can speak the language fluently, and love visiting my family in Poland. I am very proud of my ethnicity and enjoy participating in Polish holidays and traditions with my parents. My favorite thing about Canada and the area that I live in is that there is a variety of cultures that I can enjoy, including a large Polish community where I can enjoy Polish traditions and events.

My educational background is mostly in Psychology. I went to Queen’s University for my undergraduate degree and received a Bachelor of Science Honours in June 2014. My degree is in Psychology and Classical Studies. After university, I went to George Brown College for a post-graduate program in Behaviour Science Technology. So far, I have worked with college students as a peer mentor, volunteered in various places helping at-risk youth, and provided behavior therapy to children with autism. Currently, I am continuing my studies by pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. My goal is to become a psychotherapist so that I can continue helping people achieve happiness and positive mental health. I strongly believe that if people have more access to mental health resources and preventative programs, our population will be much happier, which will lead to a better lifestyle and better overall health. As this is something that I am very passionate about, I hope that I can help individuals overcome their mental health difficulties and be a positive presence and support system in their life.

My interest in Psychology and helping people stems from my childhood and how I was able to overcome a serious obstacle. Growing up, I faced a number of serious medical problems and health concerns. I was in the hospital a lot and hot ill very often. This had a negative impact both on my parents, and myself and I found myself developing social anxiety, and falling behind in school. It took me several years to heal physically and emotionally. Looking back, I do not regret anything that happened, as these experiences shaped me into the person I am today, and taught me a lot about how to persevere through difficult times in life. I want to use what I have experienced and learned to teach others how to be brave and strong as well. I hope to use myself as an example that even with limitations, I have been able to have a flourishing life. Mostly, I want to be a mentor to others and pass along the message that happiness and purpose in life starts with focusing on oneself and achieving a positive self-image, as well as strong and healthy mental health.

Nina Kowalski



My name is Nina Maria Kowalski and I am nineteen years old. I'm currently in my second year as an undergrad at the University of Toronto, St. George campus. I'm double majoring in the studies of English Literature and Classics. Back when I was in high school, I was a part of a successful symphonic band that competed on the provincial levels, winning gold a few times. Other than that, I babysat my sister and some others. I kept to my studies, but especially to my hobby: reading. This year is the year where I want to reach out and do more for the community. I've begun volunteering as a peer-supporter at my university's LGBT+ program. I am also looking to work closely with philanthropies through a sorority, and become a note-taker for the University of Toronto's accessibility services. More importantly, I'm looking forward to progressing in my studies. This is also the year where I've realized that I am, indeed, following my passions through the study of literature and Classics. In the future, I aspire to become a professor and an author, the latter which has been a closely held lifelong dream of mine. I believe that this organization will help not only me with this, but other students as well.

Natalia Jureczek



Current education

My name is Natalia Jureczek and I am currently attending the prestigious Schulich School of Business at York University – September 2016 marked the beginning of my third year of the International Bachelor of Business Administration (iBBA) program. My intended specializations are accounting and finance and I plan to complete advanced level French while studying abroad in Switzerland. Upon graduation, I plan to complete the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

Accomplishments

My academic accomplishments thus far have been quite impressive as I have always strived for excellence. I graduated from Philip Pocock Catholic Secondary School in 2014 with the third highest mark, the proficiency award in Calculus and Vectors (in which I obtained 98%), the Award of Excellence, the Award of Merit, and an Extended French Certificate in additional to annual Honours Awards received throughout Grades 9 and 12. In addition, I graduated from Polska Szkoła Imienia Mikołaja Kopernika (Polish School at John Cabot S.S.) with the Student of the Year Award which I was presented with at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto. Now in university, I have obtained a cumulative GPA of 8.14 (on a 9.0 scale) which has earned me the title of a Member of the Dean’s Honour List with Distinction. Recently, I have been invited to become a member of an honour society – the Golden Key International Honour Society – as a result of being in the top 15% of my program.

Extracurricular activities

I have been extensively involved in the Polish Community – particularly through my participation in Lechowia Polish-Canadian Folk Dance Company. I can proudly say that I had been a member and a dancer in the group for 12 years. As Lechowia participates in international festivals, I promoted both Polish and Canadian culture while on trips to the United States, Poland, Peru, and Greece. In high school, I was involved with Philip Pocock’s Green Team, Dance Team, and Chaplaincy. As a member of Green Team, I was part of the team who designed and built Philip Pocock’s first outdoor classroom as well as other initiatives that helped Philip Pocock maintain Gold Status as an Ontario EcoSchool.