NEADS and BMO Capital Markets award Equity Through Education Student Awards

Ottawa, Ontario (May 26, 2008): The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) and BMO Capital Markets are pleased to announce the five winners of the 2008 NEADS Equity Through Education Student Awards: Julie Bomhof, Lisa Pascal, Ashley Shaw, Tracy Teeple and Alexandre Desrosiers. This year’s Awards were given in the categories of: College/Cégep, University Undergraduate Studies, and Graduate Studies, and were selected based on commitment to an academic field and level of community involvement. All recipients will be receiving $3,000 to support the costs of their tuition and student fees.

Julie Bomhof of Camosun College in Victoria, British Colombia is this year’s winner in the College/Cégep category. She is currently in the University Transfer Program as well as working toward her diploma in Music. Ms. Bomhof is a singer, songwriter and musician. She spent five years volunteering with Youth With A Mission in Scotland organizing short term missions training and outreach to countries in need. Diagnosis and treatment of Major Clinical Depression came when she returned to her home town of Victoria, B.C. This was a turning point as it led to her discovery of Music Therapy, which combines her natural gifts in caring for people and playing music. Music Therapy is the skillful use of music as a therapeutic tool to restore, maintain, and improve mental, physical, and emotional health.

Lisa Pascal of Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec is one of this year’s winners in the Undergraduate degree category. She is finishing the second year of a B.A. program, specializing in Psychology. Lisa is a mentor in her community for young women and provides volunteer supportive counselling at a local community organization. Lisa’s goal is to continue her academic career at the post-undergraduate level and excel academically through balancing her career goals with yoga, dancing, reiki and demonstrated on-going commitment to her community.

Ashley Shaw of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec is the second of this year’s winners in the Undergraduate degree category. She is completing the third year of a B.A. program, specializing in Sociology. Ashley hopes to continue her education at the post-graduate level with the career goal of obtaining her doctorate in Sociology. Ashley is active in the academic community through her volunteer commitment to accessing and managing the provision of alternative formats for students with disabilities. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys choral music and singing in her local choir.

Tracy Teeple of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario (M.Sc candidate, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering) is this year’s winner in the category of Graduate Studies. Tracy’s long-term career objective is to draw on her professional and academic background to enhance the ergonomics field and practice. She has affiliations with the Queen’s Ergonomics Research Group, Human Mobility Research Centre, and the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute. She also works among a team of researchers at Niagara Orthopaedics Worldwide (N.O.W.W.) charitable organization involved in the design, testing, and product rollout of the Niagara Foot™. Tracy recently attended the 12th World Congress of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) conference where she presented her thesis project.

Alexandre Desrosiers is the first professional student to win a NEADS Equity Through Education Award. Last year, Alexandre completed a B.Sc. in Microbiology with great distinction from the Macdonald Campus of McGill University and is currently finishing the first year of his medical doctorate (M.D.) at the Université de Montréal. He is really enjoying the early contact with patients that the program allows and after attaining his M.D., he is thinking of specializing in General Internal Medicine. Helping others in need has always been a priority for Alexandre. Outside school, Alexandre likes spending time with his family, pets, and friends, and trains regularly in martial arts.

The funding for these awards was provided by BMO Capital Markets Equity Through Education Program, a charitable initiative aimed at creating a more diverse workplace by offering educational opportunities to people who are most in need of support. In May, 2006 NEADS became one of four Canadian recipients of donations from the second Equity Through Education trading day. At that time, NEADS announced the Equity Through Education Student Awards.

“Each of our five 2008 Equity through Education Award winners exemplifies the spirit and goals of the NEADS ETE Awards Program,” said Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, NEADS President. “They are involved in their communities, committed to their studies, and are working toward careers in which they will contribute significantly to society and the lives of people around them. We recognize their achievements and potential with these Awards, and look forward to great things from them in the future.”

“On behalf of BMO, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s NEADS scholars,” said Lisa Foote, Managing Director and Head of the Diversity Council for BMO Capital Markets. “They are role models for those who will follow behind them through their actions and academic achievements. They also help open doors and remove barriers. NEADS is an invaluable organization because of the work it does to help college and university graduates with disabilities in Canada transition from school to the employment market. This aligns with BMO’s own values and philosophies, which is to create and sustain a supportive and equitable workplace environment.”

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For more information on the scholarships program please contact the NEADS office: National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS), Rm. 426 Unicentre, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6, tel. (613) 526-8008,
Kim Hanson, Media Relations, BMO Capital Markets,, (416) 867-3996