$100,000 Follow the Leader scholarship awarded to exemplary Toronto student

Written by on July 14th, 2015 –

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The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is proud to announce that Toronto student Allie Sherwin has been awarded a Follow the Leader scholarship, which is made possible by the support of the KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation. Sherwin, whose mother has primary progressive multiple sclerosis, will receive $100,000 towards her expenses throughout her four year undergraduate degree – a degree she hopes will lead to a career in MS research.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity,” says Sherwin, who is set to begin her studies at Western University in the fall. “It’s been hard to watch my mother’s health slowly get worse. This scholarship will help me make a difference in the lives of people who are dealing with the same thing.”

The Scarborough-based student attends Northern Secondary School’s gifted program and was chosen by the Follow the Leader selection committee because of her consistently exemplary marks, involvement in extracurricular activities, focus on MS research as a career path, superb communication skills and leadership experience, among many other qualities. The committee evaluated eligible young people affected by MS from the GTA who plan to complete a post-secondary degree in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math – academic streams that directly influence ongoing work to end MS. She says when she saw the scholarship’s criteria, it immediately caught her attention.

“I have the right grades. I play hockey and other sports. I am a lifeguard and a swim instructor for kids and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. I am part of many clubs at school,” says Sherwin. “MS is such a big part of my life, so a career in MS just suits me and it’s what I feel passionate about.”

The scholarship is an innovative way to support high-achieving young people who are affected by multiple sclerosis. Young adults, like Allie, who have grown up with MS in their family often face a number of hardships throughout their childhood that can impact their ability to pursue a post-secondary education.

“When a parent has MS, it brings uncertainty in a number of ways – financial uncertainty since a person with MS often can’t work or must work fewer hours; emotional uncertainty because the young person is dealing with the decline of the health of their loved one; and physical uncertainty since the young person often has to perform caregiving tasks to help a parent dealing with mobility issues or other MS symptoms,” says Sylvia Leonard, national vice president, talent, programs & services, MS Society of Canada. “They know first-hand the need to put an end to this disease and support those who are affected. With the Follow the Leader scholarship, we want to ensure that qualified students who want to pursue a career in MS are relieved of financial constraints and inspired to become our MS leaders of the future.”

With KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation’s investment in the Follow the Leader scholarship, the MS Society will not only be able to help ease the financial burden for Sherwin, but remain in close contact with her to provide guidance, learning and mentoring opportunities.

“KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation is proud to partner with the MS Society and extend this opportunity to a truly exemplary young person. Through this scholarship, Allie will be able focus on her academic success without worrying about the financial impact of post-secondary education. She will gain the potential to be a part of impacting the future of MS through her achievements,” says Steven H. Wise, chairman, KRG Children’s Charitable Foundation.

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