Student leaders who are making a difference awarded 2012 Toyota Earth Day Scholarships

TOYOTA CANADA - If Canada is to have a green future, bright and energetic young Canadians who are passionate about the environment must lead the way. In partnership with Earth Day Canada, Toyota is fostering the educational growth of young leaders who have a passion for environmental action.

Twenty special students who have demonstrated such leadership were recognized yesterday for their outstanding contributions. They are the regional winners of the tenth annual Toyota Earth Day Scholarships, which were announced by Toyota Canada and Earth Day Canada in celebration of Earth Week.  

The students, who are in their graduating year of high school, will be honoured in local ceremonies across the country. Each will receive $5,000 to help them further their academic careers. They can apply their award funds directly toward educational expenses for the first year of full-time post-secondary studies in Canada.

"All Canadians have a role to play in helping make this country a greener place, by making smart decisions that minimize our environmental footprint," said Seiji Ichii, President of Toyota Canada, Inc. "These young people will have a key role to play in helping the next generation of Canadians take our environmental sustainability to an even higher level. I congratulate all of them for their efforts to date and I wish them all the best in their very bright futures."  

"These students are an inspiration to all of us," added Jed Goldberg, President of Earth Day Canada. "They have already made a significant difference in helping the environment locally, nationally and internationally. And I am sure that in the coming years they will make even bigger contributions."

The 20 regional winners will now move on as finalists for the 2012 Toyota Earth Day Scholarship National Award. One winner will be chosen from among these finalists to receive a Panasonic notebook computer in addition to the $5,000 scholarship. The national winner will be announced in May.

The Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program was established by Earth Day Canada, with financial support from Toyota Canada Inc., to reward and encourage environmental commitment and action among students. This entrance scholarship is presented to graduating high school students entering their first year of post-secondary education. Recognizing that environmental issues are increasingly being tackled through multidisciplinary approaches, winners are selected regardless of their intended program of study.

Now in its 10th year the Toyota Earth Day Scholarship program has awarded 160 Canadian students more than $800,000 through the program.

2012 Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Winners:

Lauren Basden, Halifax, NS
Genevieve Carpenter-Boesch, Gray, SK
Luke Ehler, Dartmouth, NS
Matthew Green, Toronto, ON
Simon Harmgardt, Oakville, ON
Sophie Harrison, Vancouver, BC 
Abigail Holt, London, ON
Brian Irwin, West Vancouver, BC
Simon Lespérance, Jonquière, QC
Liam Maclure, Victoria, BC 
Janie Masse-Dufresne, Val-david, QC
Isabelle Neveu, Prévost, QC
Nikita-Kiran Singh, Red Deer, AB
Navarana Smith, Canmore, AB
Darren Touch, Calgary, AB 
Olivia Toussaint Martin, Québec, QC 
Julie Van de Valk, Waterloo, ON 
Hayley Whelan, Charlottetown, PEI 
Sara Wyngaarden, Elmira, ON 
Leehi Yona, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC