York student Tamara Gordon receives second Harry Jerome Scholarship

For the second year in a row, York University student Tamara Gordon will be a recipient of the prestigious Harry Jerome Scholarship.

tamara“We are very proud of Tamara,” said Robert Tiffin, assistant vice-president, enrolment management and registrar at York University. “She has overcome many challenges in her life and her dedication and perseverance are an inspiration to us.”

Right: Tamara Gordon

Gordon was an outstanding athlete and an excellent student who suffered a spinal cord injury in February 2002, while on a high-school downhill skiing trip. As a result of the incident she sustained spinal cord and brachial plexus injuries. Gordon is paralyzed from the waist down and has lost the use of her dominant hand. In December 2002, she developed a serious case of diabetes that has affected her eyesight.

While in the rehabilitation centre, Gordon continued her high-school studies and graduated with an average over 90 per cent. She has received several certificates of acknowledgement, awards and scholarships for academic excellence and community involvement, including an entrance scholarship to York University. She is presently in her first year of studies in the Bachelor of Administrative Studies (Hons.) degree, Atkinson School of Liberal & Professional Studies. In spite of many obstacles and challenges in attending university, Gordon has maintained a high average in her academic studies.

Gordon is involved in a variety of community activities. She is a peer support volunteer with the Canadian Paraplegic Association, Ontario, spending much time with children and youth who have suffered spinal cord injuries, especially those in rehab facilities. She is engaged in motivational speaking in an effort to reach out to as many people as possible to encourage them to strive for success despite their circumstances. Some of Gordon’s speaking events include Harry Jerome fundraising, Jennifer Ashleigh foundation fundraising, churches, schools and community awards ceremonies.

The Harry Jerome Scholarships are awarded annually to students of Black African ancestry who are enrolled in a post-secondary program. The scholarships are awarded for academic excellence, demonstrated financial need and recognized contribution to the community. The scholarships are administered through a trust fund established by the Black Business and Professional Association.

The ceremony will be held today starting at 5:30pm, at the TD Bank Financial Group, TD Towers, 54th Floor, 66 Wellington Street West, Toronto. Accompanying Gordon to the ceremony will be Tiffin, her mother, Marcia Gordon, and her former high school teacher, Joanne Abeles.