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1999 Nfb: Ae Scholarship Awards

Editor's Note: Editor's note: Congratulations to the recipients of the 1999 NFB: AE Scholarships.

Kimberley Brownlee

My name is Kimberley Brownlee. I am now entering my third year in Philosophy at McGill University. I will complete my honours degree in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science, in the Spring of 2001. Once I finish my degree I hope either to continue to study Philosophy at the graduate level or to study Law. I would like to pursue both an academic career as well a diplomatic one.

At McGill I have become involved in numerous activities. I have been active in the McGill Debating Union, Big Buddies Tutoring, and Alliance Quebec's Youth Executive Board. I have also been the president of both Amnesty International McGill and Art Attack McGill. I am now the co-ordinator of the Women's Action Network as well as the editor-in-chief of the McGill Undergraduate Philosophy Journal entitled Philosophic Fragments. I am also a choreographer and dancer for the McGill Contemporary Dance Ensemble.

In my spare time I enjoy both reading and drawing. I was recently accepted into the Federation of Canadian Artists. I hope to continue to produce artwork throughout my life as a hobby if not an occupation. I hope to continue to study different disciplines once my formal years of education are over.

Robin Mandell

This September I will be starting my first year at Queen's University. It is my intention to obtain a degree in psychology and Women's Studies. After that, I will probably obtain a Master's Degree or perhaps go to law school. I would like to pursue a career in either counselling or, if I am convinced to go to law school, law.

My interests include but are not limited to: reading, writing, having extended intellectual conversations, and holistic healing; I took a reflexology course last year. I am also interested in music. I recently completed my Grade Eight Royal Conservatory Piano Examination. As well, I have completed Grade Two Rudiments and Grade Three Music History examinations; I received first class honours with distinction on both of these examinations. My advanced knowledge of the music Braille code has enabled me to tutor other music theory students in the art of its application.

Emily Woolley

I am 21 years old and presently entering my third year of university at UVIC in Victoria BC. I was raised on Cortes Island where I lived with my mom and dad, younger brother and older sister. There I attended kindergarten through grade nine at the public school which consisted of less than 100 students. Less than 1000 people lived on Cortes altogether. Growing up there was a wonderful experience and I am still pleased to be part of a special community that provides endless support and friendship.

For the last three years of my secondary education, I moved to Courtenay on Vancouver Island with my father, step mom, and my brother. I attended Vanier Secondary school there which proved to be very enjoyable. I made many great friends who I am still in touch with today. Upon moving to Victoria to attend university, I began to really question my visual capabilities. I had always had serious problems seeing in any sort of dim light, but I had never really given it much thought because it was the way it had always been. Upon moving to Victoria, I got a job working at a restaurant and soon discovered that my vision was inadequate to work competently in the dim light characteristic of restaurant settings.

I booked myself an appointment with an optometrist and soon discovered after many gruelling tests (including some where electrodes were placed under my eyelids that I have a relatively rare hereditary degenerative disease known as rhetinitis pigmentosa. As it turns out I have less than 20 degrees of reliable vision which works out to less than 10 percent sight. When I discovered that I was legally blind and diagnosed with an incurable disease that will quite likely leave me totally blind, you can imagine, it was a horrendous shock.

Presently my eyesight is continuing to decrease and I am finding myself having increasing difficulty with things I used to take for granted (such as recognising stairs etc.). Despite my minor setback of having to grow up realising that I will soon be entirely without my vision, I am forever optimistic and continue to view life as a glass half full. I am currently striving to complete my pre-medical requirements so I may go to medical school and hopefully one day become a General Practitioner in a small community. I am able to maintain my optimism through the support of organisations such as the NFB: AE that allow me to realise that pursuing dreams is possible. I also receive much support from family and friends. This summer I married the love of my life who has been tremendously helpful and understanding in all aspects of my so called life.

Maxime Lemay

Maxime Lemay, age 22, is presently finishing a BA in Arts and History at Lavalle University in Quebec City where he lives with his girlfriend. Although Maxime was a victim of Retna Blastoma and completely lost his vision at the age of four, he is a great sports enthusiast. His hobbies include down hill skiing, tandem bicycling, reading, song writing, and being a radio disc jockey. Maxime was a disk jockey for a local radio station for two years.

After finishing his BA, Maxime hopes to combine his knowledge of history and radio talent to produce a history radio program. He would also like to pursue a career in song writing as he is a musician. Maxime is exploring the possibility of working for Radio Canada.