York University announces the recipient of the Scotiabank Turks and Caicos Scholarship

David McKay (centre) on the podium at the World Deaf Athletics Championships

Last month, Saskia Telfort was presented the inaugural Turks and Caicos Scholarship by Scotiabank and York University.

Telfort, who is just 20 years old, is a standout student who has been recognized repeatedly for her remarkable academic achievements and volunteer work with local charities and community organizations.

The scholarship, intended to contribute to the development and retention of academic talent and future leaders in the community of Turks and Caicos Islands, provides $25,000 per year of study to one lucky first-year student about David McKay (centre) on the podium at the World Deaf Athletics Championshipsto embark on a business (or business-related) degree at York University.

Cecil Arnold (right), managing director of Scotiabank, presents future York University student Saskia Telfort with her scholarship package

“We are, of course, thrilled to partner with Scotiabank to offer this scholarship to a deserving international student who has outstanding academic achievements and demonstrated involvement in extracurricular activities and community organizations,” said Karen Warner, manager of scholarships and bursaries at York University. “Scholarships like this allow us to be competitive with other postsecondary institutions in recruiting top international applicants. These students not only contribute to the York University community by becoming engaged members of our diverse student population, but become ambassadors of York by sharing their experiences with other students in their home countries.”

Telfort first became interested in this scholarship opportunity when she read about it in the newspaper and learned more by attending a presentation at her school led by Keno Forbes, Scotiabank’s assistant manager for business support. She had been hoping to begin her university studies in business economics this year, so the timing of the scholarship couldn’t have been better.

The nearly all-encompassing award covers tuition, board and books, and also promises a paid internship placement each summer and a job with the bank in Turks and Caicos for a minimum of three years post-graduation. And as if all that wasn’t enough, Telfort will receive additional funding through York’s International Merit Scholarship for each year of her studies.

Being awarded the scholarship doesn’t mean the hard work is over, though. To ensure renewal of the funding, the student must enrol in a minimum of 18 credits each year, achieve a sessional GPA of 7.50 and participate in the summer internship – all perfectly reasonable expectations considering the generosity of the award and the calibre of the recipient.

When the scholarship was initially announced, Doug Cochrane, former managing director of Scotiabank Turks and Caicos, explained the importance of the award, to both the local students and to the territory-at-large: “The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to travel abroad and learn from some of the brightest minds before returning to the Turks and Caicos Islands and applying their skills to the continued development of the islands,” he said.

And that’s exactly what Telfort intends to do.

“Obtaining a degree from York University will undoubtedly prepare me for a world of opportunities and give me a competitive edge in the job market,” she said. “After completing my degree, I look forward to returning to the Turks and Caicos Islands as a well-rounded citizen and joining the Scotiabank team, where I will use my skills and expertise to contribute to its overall growth and development.”

Since this particular scholarship covers a full undergraduate degree, it won’t be up for grabs by another student until four years from now. But fortunately, York University offers many other scholarships and awards to help finance students’ postgraduate studies.

To be considered for a future Scotiabank Turks and Caicos Scholarship, which is awarded primarily based on academic merit, students must submit an application demonstrating community involvement, extracurricular activity participation and a minimum admission average of 80 per cent. Character references and personal statements will also be considered.

For more information, visit the Future Students website.