Meet the 2017 Heaslip and Whiteside Scholars

Posted Oct 5, 2017 1:55 pm

Photo (left) Trinity Heaslip Scholars Kelly Bilenkis and Kate Reeve (right) Trinity Whiteside Scholar Zachary Demers

Each year, Trinity College offers its students more than $1 million in awards. These scholarships, prizes and bursaries not only allow Trinity to attract the best and brightest to the College, but let students flourish throughout their time here. Among these important awards are the William and Nona Heaslip Scholarship and the John Harvey Whiteside Scholarship. For second-year Trinity students Zachary DemersKate Reeve and Kelly Bilenkis, receiving these scholarships will have a lasting effect on their undergraduate years. 

These generous gifts from Trinity’s donors continue to have a lasting impact on our students, allowing them to consider new opportunities to enhance their College experience. “Student awards are one of the most vital ways we support our incredible students at Trinity. We are so grateful to the Heaslips and John Whiteside for establishing these generous scholarships so that our students can flourish while they are here," said Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College. “A well-deserved congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients - Zachary, Kelly and Kate." 

The William and Nona Heaslip Scholarship was established by William and Nona Heaslip in 2005. Providing continuing funding for Trinity students, recipients of the award actively participate in the community, have financial need, and also have strong academic records. After so generously beginning this scholarship at Trinity, the Heaslips went on to establish it at nine more universities across Canada. To date, 26 Trinity students have received this scholarship.

We caught up with this year’s recipients, Kelly Bilenkis and Kate Reeve to learn the impact the Heaslip scholarship will have on them. For Kelly Bilenkis the answer is clear: “This scholarship means everything from the hundreds of extra hours I will now have to commit myself to the College and extracurriculars, to the peace of mind of knowing I can focus on what’s most important this year,” she says. “This year I am spearheading a conference on speculative fiction for The Spectatorial as their co-communications coordinator. At Trinity, I’m staying involved by participating in intramurals and getting more involved with writing on-campus.” Beyond facilitating Kelly’s academic goals, the scholarship will also help realize her career aspirations in the world of publishing. “This scholarship will allow me to pursue writing-related opportunities and still be involved on campus,” she says.

This year’s other Heaslip Scholarship recipient, Kate Reeve, is also quick to acknowledge its tremendous benefit. “Thanks to the financial stability it offers, I no longer have to work as a line cook to support myself, which grants me much more free time to dedicate to school and extracurricular activities," Kate says. "This also means I can extend my learning outside of the school year, through unpaid internships and other opportunities.” Thanks so the scholarship, Kate will have the opportunity to focus on completing her degree in Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies, an important stepping stone in her pursuit of a career in law.

In 2010, Trinity alumnus Jack Whiteside established the John Harvey Whiteside Scholarship. Providing continuing funding for a Trinity student, the recipient must have a strong academic record and community participation. So far, this scholarship has assisted eight Trinity students achieve their academic goals.

The impact of the Whiteside Scholarship is clear to this year’s recipient Zachary Demers, “Not only was it a huge financial aid, it was also a massive vote of confidence. It made me realize how fortunate I am for the friends I have made here who helped me every step of the way. Hearing the news was, without question, the proudest moment of my life,” he says. Zachary continues to play an active role in the College community. “I was a leader for Trinity’s 2017 orientation week. I also am the executive secretary for Trinity College Learning Intimacy Together, Trinity’s brand new club that provides sexual education and positivity,” Zachary says.The Whiteside Scholarship will allow Zachary’s involvement in the College to continue while he pursues his degree in Criminology and Philosophy.

Thanks to programs like these, the next generation of leaders at Trinity College are assured the support they need to succeed.