Two youth awarded Canadian Cancer Society scholarships

18 August 2014

Toronto, ON -

Thanks to the generosity of a woman who lost her husband to cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society annually awards two youth scholarships to students volunteering with the Society. The Gertrude and LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarships were created to recognize young volunteers who have made a big impact in the fight against cancer.

“The youth volunteer scholarships are a perfect idea. I would never have known how to do that on my own,” says Gertrude. “I knew the Canadian Cancer Society would use the gift where it could do a lot of good. I was very happy to make that donation.”  

Shadi Mousavi Nia from Richmond Hill and Alessandra Ceccacci from Oldcastle are this year’s $5,000 scholarship recipients. Both youth have made an incredible impact in their school and community by participating in various advocacy, prevention and fundraising activities with the Society.   

“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.”

Mousavi Nia was awarded the scholarship as a result of her 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.

Ceccacci, also a youth leader within the Society, was recognized for her 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.

Mousavi Nia and Ceccacci continue to be youth leaders in and out of their communities.

To learn more about the Gertrude & LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarships visit

Shadi Mousavi Nia Alessandra Ceccacci
Shadi Mousavi Nia Alessandra Ceccacci
About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For further information or to book an interview opportunity, please contact:

Stephanie Michaelides
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division