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Youth volunteer scholarships

The 2018 applications are now accepted until March 15, 2018 

The Canadian Cancer Society’s scholarship program recognizes youth who through their volunteer activities with us, have demonstrated exceptional commitment to eradicating cancer and improving the quality of life for people living with cancer and their families.

Three scholarships valued at $5,000 each will be awarded yearly until 2021.   

Gertrude &  LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarship

The Gertrude & LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarship launched in 2012. From 2012 – 2021, up to two yearly scholarships of $5,000 will be awarded to students who are volunteers of the Canadian Cancer Society and entering post-secondary school for the first time.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the 2018 Gertrude & LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarship, you are:

  • Entering your FIRST YEAR at a full-time post-secondary institution (University, College or Industry program) in Fall 2018, working towards a Degree, Diploma or Industry License
  • a Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division volunteer for the past year as of March 15, 2018 and you have demonstrated exceptional commitment to, and impact on, the CCS mission
  • Age 21 or younger as of March 15, 2018
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • not the child of a current CCS employee

Please see the Application guide for helpful hints when completing your application.

Application Page (Only valid until March 15, 2018)

Please note that the Canadian Cancer Society reserves the right to change the scholarship’s eligibility criteria at any time.

For more information, please contact us at

Stackhouse-Bates Family Volunteer Scholarship

The Stackhouse-Bates Family Volunteer Scholarship program launched in 2016.  From 2016 - 2021, one yearly $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who is a volunteer of the Society and in a post-secondary program.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the 2018 Stackhouse-Bates Family Volunteer Scholarship, you are:

  • enrolled in a full-time post-secondary institution (University, College or Industry program) and continuing in the program in Fall 2018, working towards a Degree, Diploma or Industry License
  • a Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division volunteer for the past 2 years as of March 15, 2018 and have demonstrated exceptional commitment to, and impact on, the Society’s mission
  • Age 24 or younger as of March 15, 2018
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • not the child of a current Society employee
  • have not previously received the Gertrude & LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarship

Please see the Application guide for helpful hints when completing your application.

Application Page (Only valid until March 15, 2018)

Please note that the Canadian Cancer Society reserves the right to change the scholarships’ eligibility criteria at any time.

For more information, please contact us at

Past recipients of Canadian Cancer Society Volunteer Scholarships


Lauren Benson

Lauren Benson

Lindsay, ON

Lauren helped launched a Relay For Life event at her high school in 2013. When she started her Biochemistry degree at the University of Guelph she joined the Relay For Life committee there as well. Her knowledge and commitment to the event helped increase participation and funds raised.

“I love being able to work with Relay for Life at my University because I feel that we are really making a difference, and I’ve spent the last three years meeting some of the most incredible people through Relay. Planning fun activities all year with amazing people doesn’t feel like work; it is so easy to make a huge difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families” says Benson.

Meaghan Frank

Meaghan Frank


Meaghan has been a part of the Youth Troop her entire high school career. She started as a general member of the youth group, and in her senior year was elected as leader. In 2017, the Youth Troop decided to take their fight to the next level and host a Relay For Life event at their school.

As leader of the Youth Troop and Relay For Life Chair, Meaghan worked tirelessly to plan fundraisers within her school, educate students about cancer prevention, recruit volunteers to assist with the Society’s campaigns, all while planning her own Relay For Life event.

“Thanks to the Canadian Cancer Society, I am now someone who stands tall and proud while leading my peers, and someone who can encourage any unfamiliar face to donate to cancer” says Meaghan. “Everyday, I wake up determined and inspired to create a world where no one fears cancer. In the future, I will continue to be apart of the Canadian Cancer Society to do my part in reaching this goal.”  

Shannon McNeil

Shannon McNeil


Shannon has been an integral part of the Youth Troop at the Canadian Cancer Society for the last four years. As Co-Chair of the Youth Troop, Shannon worked well with the administration at her school to plan and execute all fundraising and educational events. In 2015, Shannon joined the Relay For Life committee and helped plan the first Relay event at her school.

Shannon is also a passionate advocate of cancer prevention and healthy public policies. She attended the annual “Member of Provincial Parliament Education Day” where she was able to speak with MPP’s regarding the inaccessibility for Ontarians to take-home cancer drugs.

“As a member of the Youth Troop, I play an active role in educating my peers about the dangers of cancer, and how to prevent cancer as an adolescent” adds Shannon. “As a senior, my peers and I will be attending prom, which will allow me to speak to them about the dangers of tanning, and challenge them to a tan-free prom.”


Sinthiha Krishnan

Sinthiha Krishnan


As a Tobacco Industry Action Committee Member, Sinthiha worked on a number of advocacy initiatives from the ban on flavored tobacco products, to take home cancer medications, smoke-free youth rated movie, plain packaging legislation, and smoke free multi-unit dwellings. She co-founded the youth-led campaign “Big Tobacco Lies” to raise awareness and educate peers to make informed decisions about smoking rather than be subject to the tobacco industry’s tactics. She collected signatures, conducted presentations and had meetings with MPPs – all of which contributed in the passing of Bill 45: Making Healthier Choices Act.

As a Youth Troop President, Sinthiha founded a Canadian Cancer Society club at her high school. Sinthiha and her team executed a project called "Kick Butt", which allowed students to openly discuss and tackle their addiction. The successful project resulted in over a thousand signatures in support of plain packaging and a clear shift in the students' mentality towards smoking, as some even felt empowered to quit.

Mugdha Dave

Mugdha Dave


For three years, Mugdha was an integral part of her school Relay events which raised over $65,000 towards life-saving research, prevention and support for cancer patients and their caregivers.

As co-chair for 2 years, Mugdha continuously came up with innovative ways to increase student and staff participation, help participants reach fundraising goal, and remind participants about the overall objective of the event.

Mugdha’s events saw an increase in student participation and raised over $100,000

Vithusha Ganesh

Vithusha Ganesh


Vithusha first started volunteering with CCS as a general member of the Youth Ambassadors Council in 2011. The next year she became the Vice President and helped educate youth about behaviours that could lead to cancer.

During her undergraduate career, she became a leader of the Tobacco Industry Action Committee (TIAC). Through designing, organizing and facilitating provincial advocacy campaigns, she was able to raise awareness on the issue of youth-targeted marketing of tobacco products. Vithusha was invited to attend MPP Education Day at Queen's Park, where she addressed politicians on tobacco issues. Her initiatives assisted in the ban of flavoured tobacco under the Making Healthier Choices Act in 2015.

“My volunteerism with the organization and inclusion in the CCS community has allowed me to realize my passion in oncology. The tasks and responsibilities that my staff supervisors at CCS have entrusted with me over the years has vastly shaped my growth as a community advocate and leader. I now hope to carry on this passion of mine as a clinician and researcher in medical oncology; and receiving this award will greatly help me in the process of applying to professional schools.”


Eva Li

Eva Li

Ottawa Office

Eva describes herself as a cancer fighter in every aspect of her life. After a family friend passed away from lung cancer, Eva co-started a student advocacy club called Raven’s Youth Troop, where she has organized many events and initiatives to raise awareness about cancer and cancer prevention.

“Volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society has helped me grow,” Eva says. “The experience makes me smile, touches my heart, and gives me something to reflect upon, knowing I am making a difference in my community.”

Aaron Zhang

Aaron Zhang

Holland River

Aaron mobilized his classmates to take action in the fight against cancer. Under his leadership, Sacred Heart Catholic High School was the top fundraising high school in Canada, raising $187,511. Aaron also helped increase daffodil street sales in Holland River by 127% by recruiting over 300 volunteers who together raised more than $26,000.

“I started as one individual volunteer and brought together a team to engage an entire school population. It is my hope that each student will inspire not only their family and friends, but our society as a whole, creating a domino effect that will have a direct impact in the fight against cancer,” says Aaron.

Curtis McGrath

Curtis McGrath


In 2012, Curtis McGrath took on his first volunteer leadership role when he co-chaired his high school Relay For Life in Arnprior. When the daughter of a cancer survivor thanked him at the event, saying events like Relay are the reason why she still has her dad, he knew he had made a difference. Curtis continued in both leadership and mentorship roles with Relay For Life, and chaired the Ottawa University Relay For Life in 2016.

“I am so proud to introduce myself as a volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society and I will never let up in our fight against cancer,” says Curtis.

2015 Youth Scholarship Recipient 
Rakhshan Kamran

Hamilton Wentworth Community office

After losing his uncle to cancer, Kamran became involved with the Society’s advocacy and prevention work. Within his community and through provincial health groups, Kamran works to educate the public about the dangers of indoor tanning and tobacco use and advocates for better public policy.

“Many of my peers didn’t understand the dangers that indoor tanning posed to their health,” said Kamran. “The knowledge I provided, along with the letters, postcards and demonstrations we initiated calling on the government to pass province-wide legislation banning youth from using tanning beds, will have a lasting impact.”

Most recently, as a Big Tobacco Lies campaign leader, Kamran urged the Ontario government to pass Bill 45: Making Healthier Choices Act. The legislation bans the sale of flavoured tobacco -- including menthol -- and regulates the sale, use and promotion of e-cigarettes. It also requires menu labeling for restaurants with 20 or more locations.

2015 Youth Scholarship Recipient

Azana Hyder
Ottawa community office

Azana Hyder, was recognized for her leadership as chair of the Colonel By Secondary School’s Relay For Life event in Ottawa. Under her watch, the event has raised more than $198,000 in the past two years. It has also engaged more than 700 students and members of the community.

“It’s rare to find an event volunteer who delivered the incredible results that Azana has achieved,” said Cam Whalen, Youth Program Specialist for Eastern Ontario at the Canadian Cancer Society. “She has earned this scholarship through exceptional leadership, dedication and enthusiasm.”

“I’m incredibly proud of the amount our event raised for the Canadian Cancer Society,” said Hyder. “I look forward to passing the baton to the next group of students who will continue this fight.”

Money raised from Relay For Life events help fund life-saving research and the Society’s support programs within local communities across Ontario.

2014 youth volunteer scholarship winner
Shadi Mousavi Nia

South York Community Office

Shadi Mousavi Nia has made many contributions to the Society, including her recent leadership role in supporting the creation of the Big Tobacco Lies campaign. She has also been a leader in promoting cancer prevention and advocating for policy change in the South York community.

“I am tired of seeing cancer ruin lives” says Mousavi Nia who’s been a leader in advocating for healthy public policies including a ban on flavoured tobacco. “It’s time that today’s youth, our future leaders, work together to stop this disease,” adds Mousavi Nia.

2014 youth volunteer scholarship winner
Alessandra Ceccacci

Essex County Community Office

Alessandra Ceccacci, also a youth leader within the Society has made many significant contributions in engaging fellow peers to participate in cancer prevention, advocacy and fundraising activities. The school youth troop that she led was so well recognized in her community that other schools have now reached out in interest.

“I founded the Youth Troop at my school in October of 2011. At the beginning, I recruited 15 youth and the group now has more than doubled to 38 members,” says Ceccacci who has spent over 300 hours volunteering as a Youth Troop leader. Ceccacci has also been a participant and volunteer at the Society’s local Relay For Life and Grapes of Wrath fundraising events.


2013 youth scholarship recipients

Carley Oulette and Joshua Rosaasen

Essex County Community Office

Carley and Josh have each accumulated hundreds of hours of volunteer time with the Society in various activities. They have set up advocacy tents at Relay For Life events, collected signatures for a ban on indoor tanning legislation, helped establish and run the Essex County Youth Troop, brought Tan Free Grad to their high schools, coordinated UV skin clinics to raise awareness of sun damage, organized Daffodil Sales and car washes and created an arts fundraiser. The two have become local catalysts for change and significantly increased youth participation in their community.

Both Carley and Josh decided to help after experiencing firsthand what cancer can do to a family. “The Canadian Cancer Society has changed my life,” says Carley, whose grandmother died of cancer in 2009. While battling esophageal cancer, Carley’s grandmother used the free services of the Society, which helped lower her anxiety and stress levels. “I knew I had to do something to give back because of how much the Society helped my grandmother. That’s when I decided to get involved and volunteer,” she adds.

“My mother is a skin cancer survivor and she has been my motivation,” says Josh. “My goal is to help prevent other people from experiencing what my family went through, which is why I’m trying to make the biggest impact by helping youth today understand what cancer is and how to prevent it.”

“The Canadian Cancer Society empowers youth to gain leadership skills, obtain meaningful volunteer hours and engage their friends to join the fight against cancer,” says Christine Richer from the Essex County office of the Canadian Cancer Society. “We engage them on their own terms and focus all this positive energy towards fighting cancer,” she adds.

2012 youth scholarship recipients
Julia Hanley

Georgetown Dufferin Peel Community Office

For Julia Hanley, age has never been a barrier to helping others. When Julia was just a little baby visiting her grandmother in the hospital, a nurse took her around the oncology clinic where Julia’s presence cheered up patients. By the time she was four years old, Julia was volunteering by selling daffodils for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Her early beginnings grew into a long-term commitment to fighting back against cancer. Julia now regularly takes on leadership volunteer roles with the Public Issues team, putting cancer-related issues on the political radar and protecting the health of Canadians.

“Volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society brings the community together in such a fun and enjoyable way,” says Julia. “I would tell other youth to start volunteering as soon as you can!”

Karen Yu

South York Region Community Office

Karen Yu’s life has been deeply touched by cancer. She decided to fight back after the loss of her aunt and the diagnosis of her grandmother, starting her volunteer career with the Society by selling luminaries for a Relay For Life event.

Later, she joined a Youth Ambassadors Council organized through the local Canadian Cancer Society community office. There, she led other youth in her community to fight back by developing youth-friendly presentations for National Non-Smoking Week, participating at local events and organizing a youth leadership conference.

As Karen wrote, “The Canadian Cancer Society recognizes the immense power that youth possess and believes they can truly inspire change and progress in the fight against cancer”.



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