Opterus Announces the 2021 Winners of Its 'Rebel With a Cause' Scholarship Awards

Toronto, CANADA


TORONTO, Sept. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Opterus Inc. is excited to announce this year's winners of its 'Rebel with a Cause' scholarship awards.

Founded to highlight and empower accomplished young women between the ages of 16-28 who are pursuing a STEAM education or artistic ventures, the Opterus Helen Rose STEM Award and the Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award were inspired by the memory of Opterus Founder Janet Hawkins' mother, Dr. Helen McKilligin, and sister, Valerie Ann Hawkins, respectively. Each of the scholarships provides $10,000 to recipients to support their studies at accredited Canadian universities or colleges.

The Opterus Helen Rose STEM Award winner is Audrey Massender, a 27-year-old nurse who works in an Ottawa-area hospital's intensive care unit. Her experience and recent events have sparked a passion to train other nurses and health care professionals to have a better emphasis on mental health and resiliency, resulting in a decision to go back to school and pursue a master's degree in health professionals education at Queen's University. As she told the review committee, "More care needs to be given to those who care for others, and I am determined to make that come to fruition. I truly never in a million years believed I would receive a scholarship validating my efforts to better my profession. To receive an award in memory of someone as awe-inspiring as Dr. McKilligin is an unbelievable honour and privilege. The lasting, life-changing impacts she made for women's health and rights are an inspiration and the kind of positive change I will aspire to make within my own field. Thank you for this incredible opportunity, and I promise I will continue to be a rebel with a cause."

The Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award winner is Elan Adamson, who plans to use the scholarship to support her pursuit of a master's degree in psychology as she builds a career in counseling with a focus in arts therapy practices. "This gift has lightened the financial burden tremendously, making it possible for me to focus on my studies. My goal as not only a counsellor but as a human being is to tune into the strong, passionate, and creative frequency that Valerie Ann Hawkins was described as embodying. Hearing about the true joy, sense of fun, and lust for life she shared with everyone who had the privilege of knowing her has inspired me to strive to be a 'Valerie' in as many lives as I possibly can. I can't wait to begin my journey as a therapist and to uphold Valerie's legacy of creating a new mindset for a better world."

To learn more about Opterus and each scholarship, click here.

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