Youth volunteers today, community leaders tomorrow

In 2016, the Canadian Cancer Society awarded $5,000 scholarships to three outstanding youth for their outstanding volunteer efforts in the fight against cancer. Meet our 2016 recipients, Eva Li, Aaron Zhang and Curtis McGrath.

Eva Li – recipient, Gertrude and LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarship

Eva Li of Ottawa 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 – recipient, Gertrude and LeRoy Rellinger Youth Volunteer Scholarship

Aaron Zhang of Holland River 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 – recipient, Stackhouse-Bates Family Volunteer Scholarship

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.

Congratulations and thank you to our incredible 2016 scholarship recipients for their passion and dedication!

The 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.

This year’s application period will be open from January 15th to March 15th. For more information on the available scholarships or to apply, please click here.