Transplanted Syrian teen wins national scholarship

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LCVI student gets a national scholarship to the University of Toronto – Mar 26, 2018

Eighteen-year-old Syrian newcomer Ghamr Saeed and his family have only been in Canada for about a year-and-a-half, but the Kingston teen will soon be on the move.

He’s just earned a scholarship to the University of Toronto. With the support of his parents and hard work of one particular teacher, Saeed applied for and won, one of 10 national awards.

Saeed is wrapping up his high school career at Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute (LCVI).

“I’m going there with a lot of learning, but of course, it is a bit of pressure as now I’m viewed as a national scholar as one who deserves this scholarship and I must keep that. I must go on with the expectations.”

Saeed and his family came to Kingston via Dubai from war-torn Syria back in December of 2016. Joanne Riley is an advanced placement and math teacher at LCVI. She was instrumental in Saeed’s successful application for the scholarship.

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“We always think of teachers changing kids’ lives, well, no he has significantly changed my life in terms of helping me understand what learning can be like when you’re coming from a different country.

“And for me, as someone who’s grown up in Canada, just some of the challenges being faced by people who are coming to Canada and whose lives have been turned completely on end.”

READ MORE: Overwhelming number of Syrian newcomers donate blood in Calgary during critical time of need

The 18-year-old Saeed will be studying engineering science at U of T. Hard work has earned a young man his dream of a higher education in his new country he now calls home.

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