Youth Education Awards for Brain Tumour Survivors

Helping Young Brain Tumour Survivors Achieve Their Dreams

Going to college and university is often a milestone for young adults but for pediatric brain tumour survivors, sometimes post-secondary school can be out of reach.

Not only can there be the difficulties that come with late effects like epilepsy, physical disabilities or learning challenges, but finances may also be strained due to treatments and recovery. Today, because of the generosity of several donors, there is a special funding program dedicated to this unique group of survivors.

You can help a pediatric brain tumour survivor achieve their dreams by funding a Youth Education Award in your name or in honour of someone you love. Contact us at 1-800-265-5106, ext. 227 or at

In August 2017, Youth Education Awards were presented to five young pediatric brain tumour survivors so they could pursue and achieve their academic dreams. In their words, here’s what this opportunity means to them.

2017-2018 Awardees

Harshil Puchooa, Youth Education Award recipientHarshil Puchooa (Surrey, BC)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at age 14

Generously funded by West Coast Trail Hike 

"This scholarship will help me focus on my career instead of thinking about how I will repay my student loans. The scholarship will also make a big difference in how much time and resources I have during school to spend on enhancing my experience and knowledge through service-learning, volunteer opportunities and internships. The money and security afforded by the scholarship will allow me to be more selective in how I spend my free time; instead of working at any minimum-wage job I can find to support myself, I can select work that is meaningful and adds value to my degree."
Andrew Welsh, Youth Education Award RecipientAndrew Welsh (Abbotsford, BC)
Pursuing Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo
Diagnosed with a suprasellar craniopharyngioma at age 9

Generously funded by West Coast Trail Hike

"Having successfully battled a brain tumour, I have experienced firsthand the benefit that biomedical technology has in saving a person’s life and want to give back in that area. This award will lessen my financial burden, allowing me to focus more on my studies as I continue my third year of Biomedical Engineering – inspiring me to keep going when the journey gets tough. It will help me reach my goal of helping others who were in situations like me through medical technology."
Max Van Den Driesschen, Youth Education Award Recipient 2017Max Van Den Driesschen  (London, ON)
Pursuing studies in Computing and Financial Management at Waterloo University
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at age 11

Generously funded by Rigatoni for Research

"Time is one of the only things in life that is finite and infinite at the end of the day. I’m a 19 year of student from South Western Ontario who never lets a minute go by without it being wasted. I wake up and act as if carpe diem is the style of shoes I wear. It is with this mantra that I enter into Computing and Financial Management at Waterloo University.

I am very fortunate and proud to have received this award and know that the impact it has on my education is tremendous. When I was 10 years old I was diagnosed with a Pilocytic Astrocytoma. It was during my diagnosis that I realized how important financial stability is and it has become a passion of mine. In the future I would like to start a charity geared toward Financial Literacy, and helping those in need either through a program in a fund or as a non-profit charity. To preserve and give everything you have no matter what, is where true change comes from. Maybe with this drive, one day I could help those as I was helped, and make their time feel as if it’s infinite."
Sarah Dykeman, Youth Education Award recipient 2017Sarah Dykeman (Milton, ON)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa
Diagnosed with a pilocytic astrocytoma at age 15

Generously funded by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Donors

"As a teacher-in-training, this scholarship will allow me to take advantage of professional development opportunities instead of dividing my focus between school and part-time work. Thanks to this generous support, I will be launching my career debt-free, freeing me to give myself fully to the needs of my future students without the financial and emotional burden of student loans".

Stuart Miller-Davis, Youth Education Award recipientStuart Miller-Davis (Kingston, ON)
Pursuing a Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University
Diagnosed with medulloblastoma at age 5

Generously funded by Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Donors

"I have wanted to come to Carleton University to study journalism for as long as I can remember. This award will allow me to continue to pursue my dream of being a sports journalist while reducing the stress money can cause. This year I am working for Carleton's athletic department covering the men's and women's hockey teams for their website. This award will allow me to work there this year and learn valuable experience in my field."


Read more about previous award winners from 2016-2017, 2015-2016, 2014-2015 and 2013-2014.

About the Youth Education Awards

Survivors of a pediatric brain tumour (diagnosed with a brain tumour before the age of 25), between the ages of 16 and 30, who are pursuing post-secondary education are eligible for this unique Brain Tumour Youth Education Award opportunity. These awards were offered for the first time in 2013.

The aim of the program is to help young brain tumour survivors achieve their dreams through post-secondary education.

The awards are open to students who will be enrolled full-time in a publicly funded Canadian university or college. Students are eligible if they are in their graduating year of High School or CEGEP students, or are currently enrolled full-time in a recognized publicly funded Canadian university or college and planning to continue their full-time undergraduate studies.

Interested in applying for a Youth Education Award?

This webinar was recorded in February 2018 to explain the process of our awards program, including the logistics on what awards we offer, when they are offered, and when they are due and announced. This presentation also shares logistics on who is ranking your applications and how applications are viewed and awarded.

Learn more about Youth Education Awards by contacting:

Susan Ruypers
Research Program Specialist 
1-800-265-5106 ext. 240 


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