BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - HARD work, dedication, consistency, perseverance and a willingness to make my family and country proud are some of the words used by CiQuinya Morton to describe her road from St. Kitts and Nevis to Ontario, Canada to achieve one of that North American nation's most recognised academic awards.
Morton grabbed the prestigious Canadian Cooperatives Working for Greater Learning Student of the Year Award, which is part of a Co-op prerequisite for students of the University of Toronto Scarborough, as the course she is currently undertaking has academic and work requirements for completion.
The young Morton is expected to complete her Bachelor's Degree in April, where she already has one year of work experience under her belt at various companies in Canada.
That recognition is given to individuals who persevere in academics, show discipline in their work environment and in the community, and is judged from among several campuses across the country.
Morton won the award for her Scarborough Campus after she had what was described as a “great final work term” at Pepsi, which ended in December.
“Based on my manager's review and all the work that I would have been doing on campus - volunteering and mentoring - all of that contributed to me overall winning the award,” she revealed.
To put this into perspective, there are currently three University of Toronto Campuses - Scarborough, Mississauga and George - with each housing thousands of students, many of whom are qualified for the annual award.
After gaining recognition at the UTSC, she was at the top of the three University Campuses in Toronto before being placed in the national finals where her exemplary work saw her above more than 90 others who were also recognised.
Expressing her delight to this media, Morton highlighted that it means greater things are in store for her future in the area of Management and Financing; her area of focus at UTSC.
“The award gave me a great sense of pride and accomplishment, especially because it wasn’t something I specifically thought I would win. It is not something I was working towards, so it caught me by surprise even though I knew I was nominated. I just brushed it aside like it was nothing, and I didn’t have high hopes,” Morton reminisced.
Currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Management with specialisation in Management Accounting at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Morton has her sights set on becoming a certified accountant.
Speaking with SKNVibes from her home in the Federation, the young scholar explained that it was not an easy road studying in Canada, but it was through perseverance and the drive that has gotten her through the difficult road that was before her.
Morton is currently in her final semester and she is studying remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but noted that she did prefer to have in-person sessions where there would be interactions with lecturers and peers.
“I had a good relationship with the staff and faculty in Canada, but COVID-19 came, and I would say it was a blessing because I could come home and complete my final semester and be with the family,” Morton added.
Her father, Quinton Morton, was ecstatic that his daughter’s hard work was recognised; something he is hopeful that other students from St. Kitts and Nevis would seek to emulate wherever they choose to pursue higher education.
He intimated that the younger Morton had a love for volunteering when she started university and, for him, it was no surprise that it was one of the areas that she has been recognised.
“ It makes me feel round that she has excelled for the hard work, and the fact that she is not looking out for herself but for others who are in need,” the senior Morton added.
SKNVibes News salutes Ms. Morton for her exemplary work and astute discipline while studying in Canada, and also for having the flag of St. Kitts and Nevis flying high in the North American country.