Alexandra Elmslie knows how to create and support meaningful change for those who live with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
This year’s recipient of Meridian’s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship, Alexandra is recognized for helping students to better understand, and seek support for, neurodevelopmental conditions.
The Guelph resident is also poised to make a lasting impact on research related to ADHD. This fall, Alexandra will begin her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Western Ontario, where she plans to specialize in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that impacts behaviour, attention, and coping skills. While commonly thought of as a single condition, there are three types of ADHD that exist on a spectrum – hyperactive, inattentive and combined.
Alexandra knows how difficult it can be to manage daily life with the condition. She's struggled with ADHD for more than nine years. Through her studies, she hopes to deepen her understanding of the condition, helping to shine a light on some of its nuances.
For Alexandra, doing more than required seems to come naturally. While most Ontario students log the 40 hours of community service needed to graduate from high school, Alexandra graduated from John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute with more than 1,000 hours of community credits.
Among her many high school initiatives, Alexandra created “Wellness 4 All”, an educational program that delivered custom mental health support to over 200 students across her school board.
Within this program, she created positive communication materials and mental health resources, then recorded videos explaining mental health topics with language and concepts friendly to those with intellectual and developmental disorders (IDD).
This proactive work gained Alexandra accolades within her community. She was awarded the “Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Award” through the University of Waterloo’s Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement.
When it comes to helping others, Alexandra has no intention of stopping. While she pursues a career in psychiatry, she hopes to study the more subtle symptoms of Inattentive-Type ADHD, and how gender differences can impact symptoms and diagnosis.
Ultimately, Alexandra wants to help influence tailored medical support, providing females with ADHD insightful guidance and counseling, rooted in her own lived experience.
On behalf of all of us at Meridian, we would like to congratulate Alexandra for her commitment to mental health wellness in her community. Her empathy and passion for making things better showcase her dedication to this important subject.
Meridian’s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship recognizes community initiative, innovation, and impact among Ontario youth. Each year, Meridian awards $10,000 to a high school graduate for demonstrating academic excellence and community commitment.