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Meridian’s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship

Meridian’s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship

Are you an Ontario high school student making a positive impact on your community?

Apply for our $10,000 Sean Jackson Scholarship.

Applications are accepted between March 1 and April 30.

Apply now

Meridian’s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship recognizes and rewards community initiative, innovation and impact among Ontario youth. Each year, we award one leading post-secondary scholarship to a high school graduate who has demonstrated both academic excellence and an outstanding commitment to communities of their own.

Meridian is interested in hearing from students who are using energy, creativity and entrepreneurship to solve or address a vital problem in their community. Whether they are advocating for youth literacy or creating a solution for blue box lids, our past scholarship winners have made a demonstrated community impact.

Past Sean Jackson Scholarship Winners

Yogya Kalra

Yogya Kalra, 2023

We are proud to announce Yogya Kalra as the 2023 recipient of Meridian’s Sean Jackson Scholarship. During the COVID-19 pandemic, at the age of 15, Yogya joined 'CoVisualize' (formally The Coronavirus Visualization Team). Within a year, Yogya was made the Executive Director of CoVisualize, responsible for leading over 500 volunteers from around the world. Together, they dedicated themselves to the creation and dissemination of innovative data visualizations, pioneering a new paradigm in information sharing and helping to amplify the work of experts and fight misinformation.

Alexandra Elmslie, 2022

Alexandra Elmslie, 2022

We are proud to announce Alexandra Elmslie as the 2022 recipient of Meridian’s Sean Jackson Scholarship. A determined advocate for those with mental health challenges, Alexandra has made significant contributions to her community of Guelph, Ontario. When she saw the need for support for students with intellectual and developmental disorders, she created customized materials to help them get the help they need. As she pursues a career in psychiatry, Alexandra plans to focus on the nuances of ADHD.

Charlene Rocha

Charlene Rocha, 2021

Our 2021 scholarship recipient, Charlene Rocha, is paving the way for more diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Charlene is recognized for her efforts to make these spaces more welcoming and accessible to everyone. Among her many accomplishments, Charlene helped found the Toronto chapter of e-NABLE, the first student-led 3D-printed prosthetic group in Canada.

A determined activist and trailblazer, Charlene wants to show people that if they are passionate and hard-working, they will be welcome, and they can succeed. Charlene truly embodies Meridian’s community spirit, striving to create more resilient communities through her work.

Mahir Hamid

Mahir Hamid, 2020

We are proud to announce Mahir Hamid as the 2020 recipient of Meridian’s Sean Jackson Scholarship. Mahir is a passionate advocate of inclusivity in his community and a catalyst for positive change. Some of his many accomplishments include the founding of the Bloor Multicultural Initiative, a coalition of students that tackle cultural adversity through awareness events and the development of Echo, an app to help newcomers improve their English verbal communication skills.

Luca Ramelli

Luca Ramelli, 2019

Our 2019 scholarship recipient is Luca Ramelli, a Hamilton resident and inspiring young leader. Luca is passionate about improving people’s health by creating innovative solutions to complex healthcare problems, leading a project with Hamilton Health Sciences that reduces the risk of falls in seniors when they are discharged from the hospital.

Advait Maybhate

Advait Maybhate, 2018

Our 2018 recipient, Advait Maybhate, is an impressive young man whose passion for all things STEM - science, technology, engineering, and math - shines through his every word. Advait is an impressive intellectual with passions for helping others and spurring innovation. His compassion and care, coupled with his academic perseverance, not only makes him one of Ontario’s brightest, they make him an excellent teacher and mentor to the youth in his community.

Heba Shahaed

Heba Shahaed, 2017

Heba Shahaed, an Aurora resident, was Meridian’s 2017 scholarship recipient.  A community and youth advocate, Heba played a pivotal role in bridging the divide between youth and seniors in her community.  Working in partnership with the Aurora Historical Society, Shahaed led an oral history project called Let’s Talk Aurora which focused on collecting and preserving Aurora’s intangible heritage by having local high school students interview local seniors. 

Kevin Han

Kevin Han, 2016

Burlington resident Kevin Han was Meridian’s 2016 scholarship recipient. As a high school student, he initiated change in his school and neighbourhood, where he applied his skills in relationship-building, tutoring and design to make his community a better place. Kevin led a series of school bike-a-thon fundraisers for the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation which raised $50,000 to benefit pediatric cancer hospitals, and he mentored local youth through the Chill Zone after-school program.

Julia Mogus

Julia Mogus, 2015

Oakville resident Julia Mogus was the inaugural recipient of Meridian’s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship. Since the age of ten, Julia has volunteered more than 3,000 volunteer hours advocating for youth literacy. A self-proclaimed “bookworm aficionado,” her passion for literacy led her to co-create Books With No Bounds,& which provides indigenous children and teens living in remote communities throughout Canada and around the world with books donated by publishers, authors, schools, individuals and organizations.

Scholarship Eligibility

The Scholarship is open to secondary students entering any field of study who meet the following criteria:

  • The student must be an Ontario resident

  • The student must be planning to enter their first year of study in the fall academic term at a recognized, publicly funded Canadian college or university (must not have graduated more than 12 months prior to application)

  • The student must have achieved an academic average of 80 per cent or higher

  • The student must have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their community. This can be achieved through volunteerism that demonstrates leadership, initiative and innovation

  • Applications are now closed.

  • Required documents:

    • Official Transcripts (most recent) **All students should be able to access their Term 1 grades on**

    • 3 short essays

      • One 200 word (1,200 character) essay on your post-secondary education goals

      • One 200 word (1,200 character) essay on your long term career goals

      • One 500 word (3,000 character) essay describing your outstanding commitment to community

        • Why you became involved in this community project

        • How long you have been involved

        • How your involvement in the project shows initiative

        • How your involvement in the project shows innovation

        • How your involvement in the project shows leadership

        • What impact your project has on your community - how was the success of your project determined

        • What you have learned from your involvement in this project

        • What actions have you taken to ensure this project will continue

    • Two Letters of Recommendation **If you are unable to get your letters of recommendation in time due to the impact of COVID-19 on schools or community organizations, please upload a document with the contact information for each reference. Should you make it to the final round, we will contact your references at that time.**

      • One letter of recommendation from school (written and signed by a principal, teacher or guidance counsellor) that speaks to your academic and school accomplishments

      • One letter of recommendation from community group (signed) that speaks to your community impact

    • Optional documents: Proof of post-secondary education acceptance

  • When saving your documents, please name them using the following conventions: Last Name, First Name, Document name (e.g. Smith, John, Transcript; Smith, John, Letter of Recommendation; etc.)


  • The application of creativity; turning an idea into a solution that is novel and adds value

  • Has solved (or is working to solve) a critical issue in their community


  • Entrepreneurial spirit that is motivated to help create or establish something a program, project or event to impact change

  • Is involved in multiple projects, programs, challenges and/or social issues

  • Focuses on bigger picture, or social issues outside their immediate affiliations


  • Engages others in their work in a meaningful and collaborative way

  • Mentors or coaches others

  • Has made effort to ensure project/programs etc. continues after they are involved


  • Can be any physical, secular community of which anyone can be a part (i.e. school, town, province etc.)

Apply now

About Sean Jackson

This scholarship is named in tribute to Meridian’s former CEO, Sean Jackson. Sean served as Meridian’s CEO from 2005-2012 and led our organization towards tremendous growth. He was equally strong in supporting his community having volunteered countless hours to a variety of causes and being influential in the creation of the Niagara Community Foundation in his role as a founding director. Meridian has created this scholarship to honour Sean’s excellence in his role as CEO and as a community leader.

Sean Jackson