Recipients of the 2024 Ontario Public Student Trustee Leadership Scholarship


Student Trustees Julianna Marcel (left) and Dora Chen

The Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Public Board Council of OSTA-AECO are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2024 Ontario Public Student Trustee Leadership Scholarship. This scholarship is based on an outstanding leadership initiative accomplished during the student trustee’s term and how the initiative positively impacted the students in their board. The intent of this scholarship is to recognize outstanding achievement and provide financial support to a graduating public board student trustee to assist with their post-secondary education plans, whether they choose to attend university or college or start an apprenticeship. This year there were eight submissions, and we thank all the applicants for their local advocacy work and initiatives. The 2024 recipients are:

Dora Chen, Near North DSB
After realizing there was a lack of Career Education information sessions, especially those directed at work and trade pathways, Dora created the Career Pathway Education Fair. The Fair’s purpose was to provide students with more “mindful and educated choices in their next steps after graduating high school.” The project took two months to plan and implement and was held by the NNDSB Student Senate. The fair was a unique opportunity that saw more than 2,000 secondary students attend. Students were able to meet and chat with industry professionals and learn the steps and requirement needed in each industry. The event helped students build personal connections with valued community members and future employers through one-on-one conversations. Dora will be attending Queen’s University to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce at the Smith School of Business. She also plans to continue involvement in student government.

Julianna Marcel, DSB of Niagara
Julianna’s initiative, which included many hours of research and student-led advocacy, centred on improving school food services. A Student Trustee Senate survey revealed a significant demand for healthier, more affordable meal options. A proposal letter was sent to the board’s food provider and several meetings held to overhaul the cafeteria menu across all district schools. It resulted in a more diverse and nutritious menu that supports better student health and concentration, benefiting the entire student body of approximately 37,500 students across elementary and secondary levels. The board also provided funding to expand a culinary program at one of the secondary schools. Julianna plans to attend the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce program, specializing in Finance and Economics with a minor in Artificial Intelligence. She also plans to establish a tutoring service/website that recruits U of T students to support younger learners.

Student trustees represent the voice of students in decisions about education and they help keep students informed about important decisions that affect them. They play an important role in the education governance process and are actively working at the local board and provincial levels on a number of initiatives.