By Kamyar Razavi
Every since she was a child, Ryerson business student Kezia Stephen loved to play with fake money and fake cheques.
Now, the 19-year-old has $4,000 in cold hard cash to play with.
Stephen, a Bank of Montreal employee, is one of 10 students to win a Harry Jerome Scholarship, awarded to post-secondary students who have shown academic achievement, financial need and have contributed to the black community.
The scholarship, started in 1989, is named after the three-time Canadian Olympic sprinter who set six track and field records in the 1960s.
Stephen joined the nine other award recipients at a ceremony last week at BCE Place.
The first-year student chose Ryerson over other universities because of its applied programs.
“That’s how I learn. U of T has a lot of business programs, but it’s a lot of theory.”
At her high school, York Memorial Collegiate Institute, Stephen maintained an 85 per cent average while dabbling in business and marketing classes.
She was introduced to banking by participating in the Leadership for Tomorrow Today Program, which gives young people the chance to attend camp and learn leadership and teamwork skills.
The program scored Stephen a job at one of the sponsors, the Bank of Montreal.
Stephen has also volunteered at the Toronto Children’s Breakfast Club and is a children’s tutor.
She has solid business plans in mind after she graduates. “My brother has a started a business. If he’s as successful as I think he’s going to be, I’m side by side with him.”