Scholarship Winner Announced

August 18, 2016

The Canada Safety Council is very pleased to announce Nickaya Parris of Halifax, N.S., as the 2016 recipient of the Sarah Beth Therien Memorial Scholarship.

The $2,000 award recognizes Nickaya’s exceptional leadership in safety-oriented efforts. She helped coordinate a safe walking program, where she and some classmates walked home with younger students to ensure their safety. These efforts were primarily made in order to help ease the minds of working parents who were concerned for their child’s well-being, and came about after Nickaya herself lived through a childhood where she and her sister were required to walk home alone.

Nickaya ParrisNickaya started this program, called the Youth-Walkers, where she and five other teenagers walked elementary school students from their homes to the school in one large group. After her classes ended, Nickaya walked to the elementary school and accompanied the children to their after-school programs at a nearby community centre, before finally returning them home.

Nickaya’s efforts toward community improvement are also visible through her creation of the North-End Community Action Committee, a small youth-led group designed to promote, enhance and prioritize a safe and healthy environment through raising concerns to the Halifax Regional Municipality and provincial government. 

In addition to these efforts, Nickaya still finds time in her busy schedule to volunteer with several groups in her community, including as a youth leader in the George Dixon Summer Program, a promotions crew volunteer with the Halifax Rainmen and Hurricanes in the National Basketball League, a public speaker on the topic of bullying at a local elementary school and a Youth Leader in an anti-violence group called Leave Out ViolencE (LOVE.)

Nickaya will be studying Sociology at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont. next year. She has previously completed a year of study at Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S.

“The efforts of young Canadians like Nickaya are exactly what this country needs to see as we take steps toward future safety in Canada,” said Jack Smith, president of the CSC. “We are very proud to be able to provide help for someone who has consistently provided community improvement efforts and tried to make the world around her a better place.”

The scholarship honours the memory of Sarah Beth Therien, a long-time employee of the Canada Safety Council and a passionate advocate for child and traffic safety. Sarah made medical history in 2006 as the first Canadian organ donor after cardiac death. Her medical legacy has gone on to save hundreds of lives so far, a number that continues to grow week after week.

The award is also intended to raise the profile of safety in the minds of young Canadians.

The CSC wishes to sincerely thank all those who applied to the scholarship competition.

Our goal is to award the scholarship annually. If you are interested in donating to support the Canada Safety Council with this initiative, please contact our office at (613) 739-1535 ext. 221.

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For more information, please contact:

Lewis Smith

Communications/Media Program Coordinator, Canada Safety Council

(613) 739-1535 (ext. 228)