Eric Chong [張華聰]
Elizabeth & William C. Wong Award of Excellence
The first-ever winner of MasterChef Canada is Eric Chong. Giving up a chemical engineering career after graduating from McMaster University allowed him to pursue his passion to cook and own a restaurant. Eric started making dumplings at the age of six, inspired by his grandfather, who was the owner of Hong Kong Bakery in Toronto’s original Chinatown. After winning MasterChef Canada at the age of 21, Eric honed his culinary skills by travelling extensively through Asia with his mentor, Alvin Leung, working at Alvin’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong, and apprenticing in the kitchens of Buca in Toronto. Eric opened R&D Restaurant in Chinatown with Alvin Leung at age 23. He truly inspires young people to follow their dreams.
Jessica Sze Nga Chan [陳詩雅]
Langstaff Secondary School, Richmond Hill
Chung-Kotcheff Family Arts Award
From a very early age, Jessica unleashed her creativity through various media that taught her to be more open minded and perceptive. Throughout high school, she chose visual arts courses and moved from two dimensional media, like charcoal and oil paintings, to three dimensional ones, such as clay, fused glass, and soapstone. The head of visual arts refers to her as “a very talented and creative artist, a very hardworking individual who takes on new challenges with ease and does not shy away from exploring new opportunities.” She adds that Jessica’s exceptional designs exemplify her application of design theory, traditional and digital media. Jessica has shown great initiative and leadership in her school and planned activities as the head of its art club. She helped to organize the Remembrance Day mural display for three years. The school’s L.E.A.F. Club produced Environment Display Boards and Jessica was one of its event leaders. An Honour Roll student, she holds Visual Arts Certificates at a secondary school level and second place in a Richmond Hill Art Contest. Her visual arts teacher refers to her as an exceptional young lady distinguished by advanced maturity. The teacher was always impressed that Jessica took risks to explore her own ideas rather than relying on the internet for inspiration. In her words, “Jessica is intelligent, respectful and curious. She consistently goes the extra mile to produce high quality work that is beyond basic expectations.”
Jessica is currently enrolled at the Ontario College of Art and Design University to study drawing, painting, digital painting, and animation.
Chloé St. Amand
Ontario Science Centre Science School, Toronto
Dynamic Security & Telephone Systems Community Services Award
Chloé attributes her passion for helping others to her grandfather who was active in the early Chinese Benevolent Associations and her mom’s service to the University of Alberta and Edmonton Public Library. In Grade 3, she launched her first campaign when her school cancelled its breakfast programme. She made posters, circulated a petition, spoke to classmates, and made a presentation to the school council. Although students need only forty hours of community service to graduate, Chloé accumulated over 1,000 hours that garnered many awards and honours, including the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers. Her volunteerism has been for social justice issues, such as poverty and equality of opportunity; environmental awareness and activism; promotion of the arts, especially music; inspiring young people to learn about science and technology; and, the war against cancer. At the Science Centre, she helped in the school programs, shared her passion for science, presented as a guest speaker at Career Day, and ran science activities with visitors as part of her innovation project. Her resume shows a wide background of her volunteerism: choir accompanist, assistant conductor, Legislative Page, program assistant, peer tutor, events co-ordinator, and founder, chair and project manager in honour of a science teacher who died of cancer. Under her direction, students constructed perennial beds, planted more than 300 daffodils, and established composting systems. This teaching garden includes constructing a performance area, labyrinth, and drought resistant/self-fertilizing beds for vegetables. Her science teacher at OSCSS recognized her as an exceptional student with the ability to solve problems, willingness to work hard, and enthusiasm for learning.
Chloé is enrolled at the University of Waterloo in knowledge integration and earth sciences.
Bryan Yau [邱珈良]
Francis Libermann Catholic High School, Toronto
University of Toronto Scarborough Academics Award
It is not uncommon when the Jean Lumb Awards honour high academic achievement to find a student who excels not only in school but also in leadership and volunteerism. Bryan is such a student. As an Honour Roll student, Bryan achieved academic excellence, obtaining over 95% in all his classes, including data management, calculus and vectors, and advanced functions. He has been the recipient of many subject awards for his grades. He won medal standing in the Toronto-Wide Science Fair and placement in the Royal Canadian Military Legion’s poetry and essay contest. He placed within the top 10 in the national Begbie History Contest. He completed over 800 hours of volunteerism. For all four years at Libermann, he was a delegate to the Catholic Students United Nations Assembly, editor and designer for the school newspaper, and representative of the Scarborough-Rouge River district at the inaugural Ontario Model Parliament organized by Queen’s Park. He was a member of the Scarborough-Rouge River Best-Buddies club, Mental Health Awareness club, the Green (Environmental) Team, and Chaplaincy team. He tutored younger students two days a week and served as a member of the Math and Chess club. Outside of school, he volunteers at the library of his local parish and serves as a summer camp counsellor. Especially of note, he adopted a leadership role by organizing games and activities for young children, including those with special needs. His teacher describes him as a wonderful young man who is inclusive, accommodating, kind, generous, patient, warm and outgoing, an eternal optimist who makes people feel at ease with his sense of humor, magnetic personality, natural charisma, and maturity beyond his years.
Bryan is enrolled at the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Newton Zicheng Zheng [鄭子成]
Markville Secondary School, Markham
Murphy & Chung Chartered Accountants Athletics Award
Newton is the co-founder and president of Project 5K. Starting with a group of 23 executive members representing 65 schools, it has expanded membership to 1,500 youth across 145 schools, the largest non-profit organization of its kind in Ontario. Youth are empowered to volunteer over 2,000 hours and recruited as volunteers for 35 events, including CIBC Run for the Cure and Markham Expo. Since 2013, Newton played a significant part of Power Unit Youth Organization as Associate Sales for Night It Up! a community festival in Markham, run by young volunteers, that has generated over $115,000 for local charity and youth development programs. Newton is also a national level badminton athlete, training up to 15 hours a week during the school year, 36 hours during the summer. He has competed in high level tournaments across the country and won continuous top athletic awards and academic awards since Grade 8, including first place for Under 14 in provincial and national badminton championships in 2011; Grade 9 Athlete of 2012; first place in York Region Junior Badminton Championships; first place in the 2013 Ontario High School Provincial Championships; Most Valuable Player Markville Senior Badminton Team; and, second place in the under 16 Ontario Provincial Badminton Championships. In 2014 he received the Under 19 Most Valuable Player, Mandarin Badminton Club, and first place Under 19 Ontario Provincial Badminton Championships. As a junior, he outplayed senior competitors to win the Badminton championship at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association Finals and national championship, all the while maintaining a 90+ average. In 2015, Newton concentrated more on his studies but found time to coach his badminton team as it went on to the regionals.
Newton is studying commerce at Queen’s University School of Business.
Vicky Ze Ran Xu [許澤然]
Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, Toronto
BMO Nesbitt Burns Innovation Award
Vicky knows that no matter how little she has, she can still give back. The elder of two, her brother just born when their father died in a car accident and their mother left to raise two very young children, Vicky’s first major research project studied obsessive compulsive disorder. After talking to patients, analyzing case studies, and comparing statistics, she proposed new causes and suggested treatment methods. She was awarded gold at the 2013 Toronto Sci Tech Fair and the Life Labs Award for a project with the most merit in health sciences. Recently she stumbled upon pineapple waste – a huge disposal problem in third-world countries. By conducting her own experiments, she realized bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple waste, could be used as a substitute for the protease used in detergents. This meant that 19 million tonnes of pineapple waste could be reused every year to save energy in both waste disposal and detergent manufacturing. At the 2015 SciTech Fair, Vicky earned gold and the Chemical Institute of Canada Award for this work. Vicky has received other awards, including the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Bronze and Silver; 2014 Model United Nations (WHO Crisis) Best Speaker; 2015 Louise Russo W.A.V.E. Youth Award for Outstanding Leadership; second place in the 2015 Toronto Operations Research Challenge; and, 2015 Leadership in Finance Award presented by the Junior Achievement of Central Ontario. Vicky is co-founder/research director of Amvelo, a student-run company that promotes environmental sustainability through technology; co-founder and co-president of Community Surf, dedicated to connecting members through innovative workshops and events; and, president, United Way Council (Marc Garneau Chapter). She created and organized the school’s first annual pudding eating challenge and student-teacher dodgeball game to fundraise money. As president of the Art Council, she spearheaded the school’s first PRIDE mural, and initiated its first annual Doodle Fest with over 250 participants. She is co-founder and co-president of Undercover Kindness, organized to promote kindness and give back to her community.
Vicky is in Grade 12 at Marc Garneau C.I.