By: Gemma Raeburn-Baynes
In a remarkable initiative to uplift the future leaders of our community, Playmas Montreal Cultural Association proudly presents the GemStar Circle of Excellence Scholarship and Mentorship Program for Grade 11 Black students. This transformative scholarship program, fueled by the vision of Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, President of Playmas Montreal and a retired dedicated BMO Bank of Montreal manager, is set to illuminate the path to higher education and success.
Nurturing Dreams Through Scholarships
At the heart of Playmas Montreal’s mission is the commitment to nurture exceptional Black high school students in their pursuit of higher education. To this end, the GemStar Scholarship Fund, generously sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal as part of its Black Entrepreneur Program, will provide $1,500 scholarships to deserving individuals.
The Search for Excellence
High schools across Montreal’s vibrant landscape will play a pivotal role in identifying the brightest stars among their Black Grade 11 students. Three outstanding candidates will be selected from each school, creating the prestigious GemStar Circle of Excellence. These scholars will not only vie for the coveted scholarships but also gain access to a wealth of mentorship and guidance.
Mentorship for a Brighter Tomorrow
Within the GemStar Circle of Excellence, students will find a treasure trove of experienced mentors eager to help them navigate the academic and professional landscapes. These mentors will serve as beacons of inspiration, offering invaluable support, advice, and encouragement.
The Journey Begins
The GemStar Circle of Excellence program will embark on an exciting journey from October to May. The culmination of this transformative experience will come in June when eight exceptional students will each receive a $1,500 scholarship. The stage will be set for a heartwarming Graduation ceremony, uniting the students with their mentors, parents, school officials, and the community at large.
Beyond the scholarships and mentorship, the GemStar Circle of Excellence program offers an array of workshops and events designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s world. From networking events to career development workshops, this program is dedicated to molding the leaders of tomorrow who will positively impact their communities.
To be part of this incredible journey, student applicants must:
• Be Grade 11 students with a stellar academic record (Honor Roll or 75% average).
• Be active members of the community, showcasing their dedication to community involvement.
• Be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.
How to Apply
Applications for these scholarships must be submitted by 5:00 pm on September 20. Each application should include:
Name of high school
Name of Parent or Guardian
Phone number of Parent or Guardian
Additionally, applicants must provide:
• A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae.
• Transcripts from the current and previous academic years.
• A compelling 2-page statement that articulates how the applicant meets the selection criteria and how this award will empower their education.
• Two letters of recommendation, with at least one coming from a teacher who has had a significant impact on the applicant’s academic journey. All information is to be sent to email at: firstname.lastname@example.org by September 20.
Join us in celebrating excellence, fostering dreams, and making a profound difference in the lives of Montreal’s brightest young talents. The GemStar Circle of Excellence Program promises to shine brightly on the path to a brighter future.
Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a legacy of empowerment and achievement! For more information, please log into our website at: www.gemstarcircleofexcellence.com or call Akil Alleyne, Program Manager, GemStar Circle of Excellence, at (514) 242-2777.