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Toronto High Schools

“I like that it is not a known award.  You go about your life and if you keep doing things the right way, good things will happen to you.  That is what happened here today.”                           

 Stephen Carey -Principal Saint Oscar Romero Catholic Secondary School


Award Recipients

Award recipients are  expected to write a letter generally describing how the money was used and the impact of winning the award had on them.  


Letters 2022-2023

During this academic year, I was fortunate to be awarded the Compass Award, which has been tremendously beneficial to me. The award provided me with funds that helped me pay for necessary school equipment, such as an iPad that I use exclusively for school activities, including taking notes, emailing, and completing assignments. I had initially saved up the money for the iPad, but thanks to the award, I was able to purchase it without depleting my savings.

Furthermore, the award allowed me to cover the cost of my post-secondary applications. I am thrilled to say that I have been accepted into my dream university, the Ontario University Institute of Technology, to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering and Co-op (Hons), Mechatronics Engineering program.

I am extremely grateful for the Compass Award since it helped me achieve my goal of attending this university. Prior to receiving the award, I had no plans of applying to a university due to financial constraints. With the award’s financial assistance, I was able to fulfill my dream of attending this university. In addition to these benefits, I used a portion of the award to invest in stocks and cryptocurrency when I turned 18, which has resulted in a doubling of my investment, providing me with additional financial stability. I plan to utilize the remaining funds to purchase textbooks and perhaps some university merchandise as a small reward to myself.

Receiving the Compass Award has also had a significant positive impact on my academic life. As I come from a single-parent household, I have always been aware of the financial difficulties my family faces. The award has eased some of the financial burden on my family, enabling me to concentrate more fully on my studies. I appreciate the struggles and sacrifices that single-parent households must endure, and I am grateful for the assistance provided by the Compass Award.

The Compass Award has helped me how to ensure of how important it is to obtain money. It has been very helpful through tough times since my father doesn’t help me with child support. I appreciate your kindness for choosing me as one the selected winners for this award.

 I’m very grateful for this award you have given me.

“Receiving the Compass Award was something I never expected I would receive, but here I am. I am very grateful for the opportunity this program has given me because I was able to not worry about money regardless of where my finances are at. I saved more than half of what they have given me and spent the remaining money on myself. I usually treat myself food or something bigger like albums whenever I accomplish something big or small depending on what it was. I like to collect albums from my favorite groups such as nct, seventeen, and enhypen. These small things I reward myself made me happy. Once again, thank you for this program as I was able to save money for university and reward myself for my accomplishments! :)”

Simple, but short. Please continue to do this as it helps a lot of students like me. Thank you once again for your hard work!

Thank you for everything that you have done for me, it made my high school life feel so much better ever since I got the Compass Award. I feel more confident entering university as I have money to help support me quite a bit at the start of the year. Also, as a 12th grader, expensive assets such as prom and graduation fees show up, so having the money to pay with those feelings so much better than asking my parents, who arent in the best financial situation possible. Going out with friends have also been a lot easier as I can also pay for my own stuff when we go out together, which is very comforting and convenient. This award helped me build memories because of the potential gatherings I was able to attend to and helps secured me a great mindset, so thank you so much for nominating me once again.

With the compass award, I’ve been able to spend more time with my friends by going out with them to get lunch and not having to worry about having enough cash. it’s been great being able to not have to worry as much about how much I spend.

I am very grateful to have received this award earlier in the school year, as it helped me immensely. I have been able to put the money towards my personal computer, clothing for school and several lunches. I will continue to put this money toward the items previously mentioned. Once again, I am grateful for receiving this award and will continue to be grateful.

The compass award helped me in so many ways. It’s helping to go into college and to pay off my stressful finances.  Also helping me to invest in businesses that hopefully in the future I will own a business I’m very grateful and thankful for the compass award. Because it’s just helping to build my career and to finish school and to be successful in life.  Thanks for acknowledging my hard work and rewarding me with a compass award to help me while I complete college.

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and high spirits. I am writing to express my deepest gratitude for your generous contribution towards my saving for university fund. Your kindness and support have made a significant impact on my life, allowing me an opportunity to work toward my education and achieving my dreams.

Receiving your financial assistance has been a tremendous blessing, relieving a significant burden off my shoulders. As you may know, I was struggling with family and facing homelessness However, your timely support has not only provided the means to pay for my University application  but has also given me the motivation and confidence to excel academically.

With the funds you have graciously provided, I am now able to focus more on my studies and fully immerse myself in the learning experience. Your contribution has eased the financial strain on me and allowed me to devote my time and energy to my coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal growth. Moreover, it has enabled me to explore additional opportunities, such as internships and research projects, which will further enhance my knowledge and skills.

Beyond the immediate impact on my academic pursuits, your generosity has instilled in me a profound sense of gratitude and a desire to give back to the community. Your support has inspired me to strive for excellence and become a responsible, compassionate citizen who contributes positively to society. I hope to one day make a difference in the lives of others, just as you have done for me.

Please accept my heartfelt appreciation once again for your invaluable contribution. Your belief in my potential and investment in my future will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am committed to making the most of this opportunity and using my education to create a better future not just for myself but for those around me.

I would be honored to keep you updated on my progress and achievements throughout my academic journey. If there are any specific updates or reports you would like to receive, please do not hesitate to let me know. Your continued support and encouragement mean the world to me.

Thank you, once again, for your incredible generosity and belief in my abilities. I am eternally grateful for your support. May your kindness and compassion be rewarded manifold.

Over my grade 12 year I have been blessed to have been gifted a scholarship for $1000. With this money I was able to treat myself after long hours of schoolwork. Things I would treat myself to are Lunch’s on Fridays, gas for my car for all my trips from home to school and finally I bought myself a watch. I am very grateful I was chosen for this scholarship. 

I am writing to express my gratitude for the award I received. I am MT from MPJ, and I was thrilled to learn that I had won. The $1000 prize has been incredibly helpful, and I wanted to let you know how I spent the money.

Firstly, I used $250 to pay for my college seat. This was an important expense that I was struggling to cover, so the award money was a huge help. I also used $110 to pay for my graduation fees, which were another expense that I was worried about. I decided to treat myself with the remaining $640. I used $200 to purchase a prom dress, which was a fun and memorable experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend prom, and the dress made the occasion even more special.

Finally, I put the remaining $440 towards my college savings. Investing in my education is very important to me, and I am grateful for the extra support.

Once again, I want to thank you for this award. It has made a significant difference in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue my dreams. Thank you for your generosity and support.

I want to express my gratitude for the reward I received this year.  I appreciate this indication of your approval.  This unexpected recognition gives me a sense of security and confidence.  I’ve put half of the income into my savings account while the other half I spent on food and living in necessities as I do live and take care of myself.  I’m very thankful and I wish that in the future, I will be able to stand in a situation to pay this chance forward to another individual and make a variety of students’ existences as mind has done by you.  Thank you so much for noticing my efforts and for giving me this monetary pat on the back.

The Compass Award, a scholarship worth $1000, has been an incredible blessing in my academic journey over the past 10 months. Despite receiving it incrementally, with $100 provided each month, its impact on my ability to finance my education has been truly remarkable. This scholarship has served as a guiding light, allowing me to navigate the often overwhelming financial burdens associated with pursuing higher education. With each $100 installment, I have been able to allocate funds towards various university expenses, such as textbooks, study materials, and online resources. The consistency and reliability of this scholarship have provided me with a sense of stability, enabling me to focus more on my studies and extracurricular activities. It has relieved the financial strain, allowing me to allocate my personal funds to other essential needs. The Compass Award has not only aided me in covering educational expenses, but it has also instilled a sense of motivation and gratitude within me. Knowing that there are organizations and individuals who believe in my potential and are willing to invest in my education has inspired me to work harder and excel in my academic pursuits. The financial support provided by the Compass Award has not only made a tangible difference in my educational journey but has also served as a reminder that opportunities are within reach and that perseverance and dedication are rewarded. I am immensely grateful for this scholarship and the doors it has opened for me, making my dreams of attending university a reality.

Money has always been a struggle for me. I always had a roof over my head and food on the table, but I haven’t always been able to do the things that I wanted to do, especially with my friends. It’s always been “Sorry man, I have a lot of homework to do.” Or maybe “I’m too tired, maybe next time.” Only recently, I’ve just been straight up with them and told them “That’s too expensive for me.” Since my friends are my friends, they insisted that they pay for me if that’s the only thing keeping me from going. That was really sweet, but I always felt bad that I could never pay them back, and it felt like I was almost leeching off of them. It’s stupid, I know, but I could never shake the feeling. Lunch was another hassle. I would normally have to go home during my lunch hour to make myself some food if I ever forgot to pack any.

The Compass Award has helped me be able to spend time with my friends uninhibited by that ugly feeling I used to get, and it also helped me not have to worry about if I forgot to pack a lunch. I’ve been able to buy things like school supplies to help with my studies, and food on a night out to celebrate a birthday.

It also feels great to have a good amount of cash in reserve while being a full-time student, as trying to balance a job and academics can feel almost impossible. Now I have some resources to use if I ever need it. The security that I have been given from the Compass Award has been a big reason that I have been able to complete this school year.

The Compass Award has helped me greatly as I finish off my last year of high school. It has helped me pay for things like my prom ticket and prom outfit. It has especially helped me pay for groceries and other necessities for my family.

I hereby want to express my gratitude to the program and its team for selecting me to receive a $1,000.00 Compass Award. Thank you so much for supporting me and recognizing my commitment to school, my strong work and dedication towards my academic programs. When I received the news that I was selected to receive the Compass Award, I felt a relief because I got a solution to pay my high school and university expenses. I used $150 to pay my Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) fee and $500.00 from the award to pay my university deposit in Toronto Metropolitan University since I want to continue my education and get a Professional Communications degree. The rest of the money I used for my graduation expenses, I spent $80.00 to pay for my gown for my graduation, $40.00 to pay for my graduation photo, $200.00 for school trips, and $30.00 on school supplies. Thanks to your Community Support for Students Program, I was able to afford all my school expenses and I did not have to worry about those expenses. I will always remember and eternally grateful for the help you gave me. Thank you so much for everything!

Letters 2021-2022

Receiving this award has made me feel accomplished and recognize my work ethic. I am truly grateful in having this award because it gives me the opportunity to be able to cover a bit of necessities needed for college in the future.

First of all, I would like to thank the Community Support for Students program for your support to me and my family in this difficult financial situation. This award helped me with my education expenses for example; transportation expenses, school supplies and athletic fee for my school soccer team. At this time my family saved the money that they should give me for my school expenses because I have received an award that supports my school expenses. Most of the funds I spent on things that I need for my high school graduation such as fees for the gown. Besides that I was interested in joining a soccer team, I didn’t have the opportunity to play with a team because I did not have enough money to pay for joining the team but by this award I paid the money and now I am playing for the team.

Thank you so much for the opportunities that you created for me with the award you have given to me. To be honest, I had thought I would just have to wait until I started university for the money to be useful to me personally but it turned out that the money would help me towards the end for high school instead. I had been able to attend my prom and pay for graduation, I even bought a few essential things for myself. I can not thank you enough and I extend my gratitude towards the community that sponsors this award. My parents were overjoyed and so proud of my achievements and I hope that more kids in the future will be able to have the opportunity that you have given. I am currently preparing to graduate soon and I am glad I did not miss out on certain experiences due to lack of finances. Thank you once again for your generosity.

I’m very thankful for the compass award. I was able to get a new computer with the money I was given. Due to the culminating assignments that piled up at the end of the year a computer helped me keep on track and allowed me to more proficiently complete my work. The computer I purchased has helped me to successfully finish high school. It will also be of great help to me in university. I’ll use it to write essays and take notes. Hopefully it will be one of the many reasons I succeed in university. The rest of what I was given has been put away in a high interest bank account. I am planning on using it for either my food plan or to buy whatever books I will need for school next year. I decided to save it because that way I’ll receive more in interest.


I am honored to have received this award. It has helped me a great deal in my successful high school career. I’m sure it will continue to impact me. I’d like to say thanks to the donors, and to everyone who helped ensure I had this great opportunity.

Thank you, I am grateful and honored to have been selected as a recipient of this award. This award helped me and my family by being able to pay for my university applications and transportation when needed.

I am very thankful to have received this award to help me support my family with financial fees and to be able to apply to as many universities as possible. Before this award I was not able to pay for a new laptop for my post-secondary education but receiving this award helped me to pay some money to get a new laptop. Winning the compass award has taught me that hard work will make you feel proud someday.

Being nominated as the Compass Award recipient really has made me look at things from adifferent perspective. Selected 1 of 2 students out of the whole grade has made me realize how blessed I am to have been given the opportunity at hand and have been chosen by teachers who believed me most deserving of this award. This award has allowed me to invest in my education by purchasing a laptop that would grant me the ability to complete assignments given, complete I.S.U’s, save documents on my chosen university, watch impactful and important videos, and even watch movies when I have free time to do the following. Therefore, this scholarship has impacted my life in a positive and joyous way by its ability to allow me to splurge on beneficial items that are investful to my education and that benefit me.

First off I would like to thank you for the opportunity to receive an award of this caliber.  I also what to thank my teachers and principles for making this possible.  What the majority of the money went to were extra expenses.  For example, bus fare and lunches.  When I didn’t have the chance to eat or food was low at home I would buy something from either Tim Hortons or subway to start the day.  I also used the money to help pay for my sports team.  I played on my school’s basketball team this year so the money came pretty handy when paying for sports merchandise and transportation for games. This has been great for me because it allows me to just focus on the games and winning other than stressing about sports expenses and where the money is coming from.

 I also used a portion of the money on family.  For example, If my family were hungry or wanted something for dinner I have never had a problem picking it up before.  My siblings are fans of Korean cheese hotdogs so once in a while I would get them from a restaurant close to my school.  A very positive impact the award money has given me was the chance to achieve and have access to bigger sums of money.  This has given me the motivation to get a job and want to continue to grow financially.

Thank you again for this opportunity this program has impacted my life and my family in a big way.

Dear Compass Award Team and the Community Support for Students Program,

The Compass Award has immensely impacted both my academic and personal life in ways that I am truly grateful for. While being a senior in high school and coming from an immigrant family who struggled with financial, and health issues, money was something that constantly lingered in my mind. My family had always prioritized education over money, and insisted that I don’t work part time jobs so I could put all my time and effort into school. I never wanted to burden my family with having to pay for school as well as my daily needs. I wanted to be independent and afford things myself so I could put less stress on my parents paying for everything, except, I couldn’t exactly do all that if I’m stuck putting all my attention into grades. The act of living can be very expensive. Simple things such as food, clothing, transportation, or school supplies all add up in the end. The Compass Award helped me pay for many of these things as well as save for the future. They also helped me pay partially for a math tutor and buy my G1 driver’s license. I felt like I could breathe a little bit after the Compass Award, and it definitely took some weight off my parent’s shoulders.

Before I had gotten the Compass Award, my mental health had been detorrioting due to my personal life and the suffocating amount of course work from school. I was carrying a lot on my shoulders and often had feelings of hopelessness and giving up on school. However, during this time period, I had gotten news that I had won the Compass Award. In that moment, I felt that all of the endless all nighters I spent, all the social interactions I missed out on for school, all the “I can’t, I have to study”, all the coffee, Red Bull, sleep deprivation, eye bags, blood, sweat and physical tears dedicated towards school was finally being acknowledged by something more than just a percentage grade. The Compass Award could not have been awarded to me at a better time because I took this award as the light at the end of this very dark tunnel I was lost in. Through all of the stress and anxiety that I was enduring in my personal life, the Compass Award reminded me that I had come so far and couldn’t give up now. It has pushed me to break past my limits and to this day, it remains a symbol of my great potential.

From my family and I, thank you to the Compass Award Team and the Community Support for Students Program. As I advance in my career, I will never forget your kindness.

I am honoured to have received the Compass Award. This award was not only great financial aid but taught me more about myself than I ever knew.

From this award, I learned that hard work never goes unrecognized. Throughout the last four years of high school, I’ve been tremendously dedicated to my education and put in copious amounts of effort in achieving my goals and prepping myself for post-secondary. There were times when I was stressed and doubted myself. I didn’t recognize that I was on the right path and had accomplished many things already. So you could imagine how ecstatic I was when I received the Compass Award! It brought me a great sense of reassurance and eased my stress.

My award has been of great help when starting my post-secondary journey. So far, I have used it to apply to my universities. This award has been of great financial aid in day-to-day life as well. It’s helped pay for necessities like my presto and hygienic products when my paycheques from my part-time job weren’t enough. The leftover money is a base point to start my savings. I’m hoping to increase it over the summer by working.  The money will then be used towards university expenses.  

Overall, I would like to thank the Compass Award team who made this possible. Without you, I would’ve had a much tougher time this year. Thank you for assisting other students and me in making our goals possible. It means a lot!!

Being awarded the Compass Award helped me throughout my last year of high school. This award financially aided me through my day-to-day life. I used the money to buy things I needed both for school and myself. This helped my parents save money or use it for something that we needed such as groceries etc. This award helped me the most with buying my vitamins, everyday needs, and things I needed for my graduation photo. I also used the money to buy the people I love a present to thank them for always supporting me. The rest of the money will be used for anything I need during the summer or for graduation. I am so thankful that I received this award. It really helped me through my last year of high school.

Letters 2020-2021

Prior to this award I have no phone and most of my schoolmates can attest to that, and this Compass award was dedicated to this phone (iPhone 12) as advised by my father.  My father promised to help me pay off the outstanding balance whenever the award payments stop.

This award has enhanced my network connectivity with my friends and schoolmates which has enabled me to text, call and send quick emails of my schoolwork on the go and schoolwork questions and get immediate responses towards me completing clarifications necessary for my school program.

Currently, I have accepted my admission offer from the University of Ottawa to study Civil Engineering and I have a brand-new phone (i Phone12), to help me to navigate my way through my schooling and my  future studies with my profession.

Before this Award, I have no Bank Account because the bank had explained to my father that I need to be a joint account holder with my father, but my father wanted my personal financial management but with this award and being that I clocked 17 years it became an opportunity for me to have an Account solely operated by my me alone and learn about prudent financial planning and honest use of my Funds.

With this account facilitated by this award, I have now used the same Account for my University education.

I really appreciated this Compass Award and I say a big thank you.

Thank you, I am honored to have been selected as a recipient of this award. This financial support has been very helpful to my family and I. With this award I have been able to pay for my post-secondary applications. This award has also helped in supporting my family by paying for food and transportation when we really needed it.

I am truly grateful to have received this award because it meant that I can assist my family with financial needs and that I could pay for my post-secondary fees. This award also meant that I had support for my final year of high school with less stress and that the hard work that I put in over the years meant something.

I was completely surprised when I heard the news that I will be receiving The Compass Award, and I am immensely grateful for The Compass Award Team as well as my school which decided I was the best suited candidate to win this award.  I have put the money towards purchasing a new laptop which I plan on using throughout university. 

The money has tremendously helped as without it I wouldn’t be able to afford a quality laptop that is capable of handling the amount of work I will be putting in.  For that reason I am grateful for receiving this award as the funds provided will be part of the reason I make it through and graduate university.

I am incredibly grateful to have won the Compass Award. It has not only impacted my life financially but has also impacted my outlook on everyday life.

Winning the Compass Award has taught me that the type of person I am and the things I do when I do not think anyone cares or is paying attention do not go unnoticed. Being recognized like this has made me strive to be a better person every day. I now make a greater effort to always be generous and understanding around others, no matter the circumstance.

The award money I received has helped and continues to help funding multiple aspects of my teenage life. It has also taken a bit of stress off my family financially, which is quite relieving to me. So far, I have used some of the money to pay for driving school and university applications, and it came in handy because these are not usual expenses any other year. I will use the remainder of the money in the near future as spending money as I am playing travel baseball this summer away from home.

I would like to thank everyone on the Compass Award Team for creating this award, as it has made a difference in multiple aspects of my life this year. It brings great joy to me to be recognized for what the award stands for!