2020 Nahom Berhane Scholarship recipients announced

On June 24, the Nahom Berhane Scholarship Committee announced the recipients of this year’s Nahom Berhane Scholarship for Leadership and Inclusion. We are delighted to present awards to the following three recipients. Ruth Wallace would like to pursue a career in law and work towards becoming a Justice for the Supreme Court of Canada. She […]

On June 24, the Nahom Berhane Scholarship Committee announced the recipients of this year’s Nahom Berhane Scholarship for Leadership and Inclusion.

We are delighted to present awards to the following three recipients.

Ruth Wallace would like to pursue a career in law and work towards becoming a Justice for the Supreme Court of Canada. She is passionate about social justice and seeks to find ways to implement change.

Ruth Wallace is a fourth-year student at Trent University, where she studies Business Administration and Political Science. She has been the Cultural Artistic Representative for Otonabee College Cabinet for two consecutive years, the Chair for the Trent Business Students’ Association, the founder of Trent Cultural Day, and the Co-founder of the Trent Ballet Club. She sat on the committee that established the Trent Peer Support Program and became a Peer Supporter in the subsequent year. Ruth is passionate about empowering young women to be leaders and helping them develop their self-esteem. Her work at Power4teens provided her with the tools to run positive self-esteem based workshops. As a volunteer with Lay-Up, she empowers girls from various low-income communities. 

Ruth has big dreams. She would like to pursue a career in law and work towards becoming a Justice for the Supreme Court of Canada. She is passionate about social justice and seeks to find ways to implement change. The Nahom Berhane Scholarship for Leadership and Inclusion will provide Ruth with some essential funding to help her pursue her various educational goals.

Emy Fishaye hopes to one day become a lawyer or work for a non-profit organization. Her father owned a small business back home in Eritrea and she sometimes dreams of owning her own small business too.

My name is Emy Fishaye and I am a 22 year old newcomer living in Toronto. I currently attend York University, majoring in Law and Society. I was born and raised in Asmara, the capital city of Eritrea, until 2015 when my family and I agreed that seeking asylum in another country was the best decision for my future. I work as a supervisor part-time in a local grocery store and I live on my own. Coming to Canada and going through the refugee process was one of the most challenging experiences I have had to go through In my life. Knowing no one and nothing when I first came to Canada, being able to attend university is one of the most rewarding opportunities I could have ever prayed for. 

I hope to one day become a lawyer or work for a non-profit organization. My dad also owned a small business back home and was always involved since I was child – so I sometimes dream of owning my own small business too!

Blessing Nkennor has a deep commitment to health advocacy, social justice and health for all. She has a love of storytelling and is an experienced photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer.

Blessing Nkennor is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto currently completing her studies in Molecular Biology, Health Studies and International Development Studies. 

Her background outside of her undergraduate studies includes working with various local, national and international science, health and youth-focused organizations. She has significant research experience on issues intersecting between healthy public policy, youth engagement, community mobilization and critical political-economy. For example, she served at Toronto Public Health as an Outreach Coordinator for the Investment in Youth Engagement Initiative and the Youth Health Action Network as a researcher and healthy public policy advocate. Blessing also served at the Institute for Youth Health and Development (IYHD) as the Director of Multimedia, where, alongside spearheading IYHD’s multimedia and communication strategy, she organized opportunities for young people to discuss issues concerning health and policy development, including the Cannabis Education Panel for Youth, the Health and Human Rights Forum and the Toronto Youth Policy Consultation. 

As a member of the Canadian Chapter of the People’s Health Movement (PHM), Blessing works with medical and public health professionals and is actively engaged in grassroots discussions about the struggle for health equity and health rights in Canada. She works on various outreach and research projects using a social determinants of health (SDoH)-informed lens, with a focus on women, indigenous communities, privatization, and extractivism.

Alongside her deep commitment to health advocacy, social justice and health for all, Blessing has a passion for basic science research. She has co-authored a textbook chapter in Elsevier’s Mechanobiology of Diabetes and it’s Complications, has published a peer-reviewed article and is currently developing an additional article. In her third year, she co-founded the Molecular Biology & Immunology Students’ Association and launched the Graduate School Mentorship Program, which, to date, has connected over 60 undergraduate students experiencing barriers to research with mentors in their field.  

Blessing has a life-long love of storytelling. She is an experienced photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer and has designed creative content for various non-profit organizations, scientific publications, and grant applications. In her spare time, she manages a multimedia startup and teaches high school and university students video editing and filmmaking.


This year is the 5th year of the Nahom Berhane Scholarship for Leadership and Inclusion. We celebrate this anniversary with a look back at past recipients in the gallery below.

Leave Comment