The 19th Annual Jean Lumb Award Winners, 2016

Jia Yi (Judy) Luo [羅佳儀]

Earl Haig Secondary School
Chung-Kotcheff Family Arts Award

From an early age, Judy had a passion for the arts. She fell in love with dance and movement and enrolled at the Conservatory of Dance and Music. Her ballet teacher of eight years commented on her natural ability and excellent work habits even at an early age. By age 15, she passed her RAD Advanced 2 examination with a mark of Distinction and a Solo Seal Award at the Royal Academy of Dance, the highest level of attainment in executant examinations. Her teacher added, “Jia Yi possesses a very mature range of interpretation and expressive qualities in addition to innate musicality. She is a versatile dancer who enjoys classical, contemporary and many other dance genres.” Judy completed a Summer Dance Intensive at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, summer programs at the School of Alberta Ballet in 2015 and 2016, and a full dance program, Arts Umbrella, in Vancouver. Judy has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Star Beat Dance Champions as Top Senior Dancer and Highest Ballet Score of Competition.

Judy’s teacher at the Claude Watson Arts Program at Earl Haig S. S. described her as a model student in every regard – a highly respected person, dancer, and academic student. She added that Judy’s passion for dance and the arts was unwavering. “I can say without reservation that I cannot think of another student that I would nominate as highly and confidently as I nominate Judy Luo.”

Judy auditioned successfully for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) at Ryerson University.


Liam Ma [馬以連]

White Oaks Secondary School
Dynamic Security & Telephone Systems Community Services Award

Liam completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma in the top 2% of his class in addition to an impressive list of community services. One of the most impactful points in his life happened on a Grade 9 trip to Haiti where he worked on improving housing and being a leader and mentor
to orphaned children. He continues to financially sponsor a young boy there. He was a volunteer for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games; captain at the annual Inside Ride; founder of a community forum,, to promote positive mental health; executive member of his school’s Free
the Children committee; tutor; volunteer at a Toronto men’s shelter; and a finalist in the Search for Goodness campaign to honour people for their community work. It is no wonder that he is the 2016 recipient of the Milton Youth Award for Community Leadership due to his accomplishments in initiating and leading volunteer projects in Halton. In the words of one of his nominators, “As evidenced by Liam’s outstanding grades and participation in a wide variety of activities, he stands out as one of White Oaks Secondary School’s top students, which is not an easy feat considering there is a student population of over 2000.” His church pastor said, ”Liam lives a life of excellence in everything he does. From sports, arts, academics and his own character – Liam is an outstanding person. In fact, his character is arguably what is most impressive. His desire to include those who often are neglected/forgotten is very quickly noticed.”

Liam is studying Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at McGill University with an interest in prosthetics to assist those living with life challenges.


Yong Xu (Gemma) Zhang [張永姁]

Bayview Secondary School School
University of Toronto Scarborough Academics Award

Gemma arrived from Xian, China, four years ago, overwhelmed by her new surroundings. Her limited English did not stop her. In a short while, she was helping newcomers during school orientation and other events, leading 40 ambassadors to organize school banquets, and pairing
mentors with ESL students. In 2014, she developed innovative ideas and entrepreneurial projects at McMaster University. Last year, she was selected as one of 40 international participants to spend two weeks at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, and one of five members of Team Canada at an international conference in Russia. She was one of 100 Ontario high school students selected to take a first-year university course at the University of Western Ontario and one of 120 international students, 20 from Canada, selected for a Canada/USA Mathcamp at Colby College in Maine.

Gemma attained the highest grades in math, science, computer science, and history with 100% in five math courses, nearly perfect in physics, and an average of 97.5% in Grades 11 and 12. She was awarded the YRDSB Book Award for the highest GPA among 600 students in her grade. She was the National AP Scholar for top scores in calculus BC, statistics and computer science. She was invited for two consecutive years to MIT’s Math Prize for Girls as one of 10 Canadians. According to her calculus teacher, she is one of the few exceptionally gifted students in his eighteen-year career. Her science and physics teacher regards her as a budding, bright scientist, and a caring and compassionate student, highly admired for her intelligence, sincerity, honesty, integrity, and discipline as an independent learner.

Gemma, who is enrolled at Princeton University, intends to major in physics and mathematics.


Brian Yang [楊燦]

Richmond Hill High School
Murphy & Chung Chartered Accountants Athletics Award

Brian, the youngest recipient of this year’s Jean Lumb Awards, has been playing badminton since he was eight years old. In a gifted program at school, he trains six days a week, earning 11 provincial, 8 national, and 7 Pan American titles. He has won national and provincial Triple Crowns 18 times during his six years of competition. He ranks first place in Canada in both U17 and U19 categories. At the 2016 Canada Junior National Championships, he won U19 boys singles and mixed doubles titles and became the youngest Junior (U19) champion in Canadian
badminton history. At the 2016 Junior Pan Am Championships, he won 3 gold medals in all his individual events. As one of his team’s key players, he helped TEAM CANADA win a gold medal in the team event. At the National Badminton Championships, Brian repeated his 2014 gold medal performances, winning the boys’ doubles with his partner and his third gold medal for the boys’ singles.

Brian, who has represented the world’s foremost badminton sponsor, YONEX, since 2010, was selected in 2013 and 2015 to take the athletes’ oath and run torch at the Asian Community Games, and chosen as the flag bearer at the 2014 Pan Am Championships. Among his many awards are the E. Badminton Training Centre’s Most Valuable Player and Exceptional Athlete Award, and Athlete of the Year Award by the Ontario Badminton Association for four years.

Despite training, tournaments, and travelling, Brian maintains high academic grades with average marks over 90%. Currently in Grade 10, Brian plans on using his Jean Lumb Award scholarship to train overseas and learn from the world’s top players.


Deifilia To [杜曦]

Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute
BMO Nesbitt Burns Innovation Award

Deifilia was enrolled in a unique program at Marc Garneau C. I. called TOPS (Talented Offerings for Programs in the Sciences) that is geared towards enrichment in science, mathematics and English. More than 550 students write the entrance exams each year and only sixty students are chosen. Deifilia is a great representative of this program. In grade 11, she was one of 63 students chosen to attend SHAD Valley at the University of New Brunswick to focus on innovation, business, engineering, and science-based academic achievement. She interned at the Rare Genomics Institute from 2014 to 2015 where she helped to research and develop cancer technologies. She ranked first in Canada with a score of 150/150 for the Pascal Math contest, and fourth out of 6,000 students Hypatia Math. In addition to her volunteerism and community work, Deifilia has accomplished level 10 piano from RCM.

Deifilia knows that innovation has no “clear-cut definition” as it takes many forms, be it within technology and engineering, or within one’s social circle. She built a motorized walking stick with a microcontroller, ultrasonic sensors, and vibration motors to help those with visual impairments. This engineering project was awarded a silver medal at the 2016 Toronto Science Fair. In two earlier years at the fair, she was awarded gold and silver medals for her engineering and biotechnology projects that studied obsessive compulsive disorder and the diagnosis of Varicella Zoster virus. Another project was the establishment of Undercover Kindness, a club that gets people to smile with random acts of kindness.

Deifilia is studying a joint major in biology and mathematics at McGill University.


Vicky Wang [王思嘉]

Earl Haig Secondary School
Dr. Elaine Ling Memorial Award for the Arts

Sponsored by the Lue Family

Vicky was a vocal music major enrolled in the Claude Watson Arts Program at Earl Haig S.S. Although she plays the flute, trumpet, guitar, and piano, vocal music is her passion. She won the vocal award at the 2016 Contemporary Showcase and recently completed a vocal apprenticeship with the prestigious Orpheus Choir of Toronto. Dr. Robert Cooper C.M., Artistic Director of the choir and one of Canada’s foremost choral musicians, praises her lovely mezzo voice which she uses with skill and poise and her ability to perform with great distinction among the mostly adult ensemble. She has been a staff assistant at the TDSB Music by the Lake camp for two years and the conductor’s assistant for the TCBC Children’s Choir.

Vicky consistently maintained the highest academic levels, her 90+ average placing her in the top 10% of her grade 12 peers. In a school of 2000, her teacher pointed out that Vicky excelled as one of its most gifted singers. There, she was a sectional rehearsal leader in the choir and a mentor for younger vocalists. She applied her artistic talents to the annual ZOOM student film festival, the Eco council, and school show. Vicky was well-liked and respected by the students and the staff for her friendly demeanor and strong work ethic. In 2015, she joined the Youth Council of the Art Gallery of Ontario to help to organize art events for youth and create major art projects for display.

Vicky is studying Creative Industries at Ryerson University.