Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipients – Alumni

Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipients – Alumni2020-03-27T16:06:19-04:00

As the Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund (MDSF) recipients have continued their education and careers, we would like to provide you with updates on our alumni. These updated profiles demonstrate how the MDSF and the community have supported them through their journey. Through the success of the MDSF recipients, Marion Dewar’s legacy lives on.

Mouhamad Al Aarab
Undergraduate Student in Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University
Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipient of 2018

Bachelor of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering |Carleton University

Apprentice Mechanic | OMG Auto
Customer Service | Mid-East Food Center

Legal Affairs Lead| Blackbird UAV Program, Carleton University

Post Award
Following the award, I began my studies in Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. I maintained my Admission Scholarship during the first year of studies and made the Dean’s Honours List in 2018-2019.

I also try to be active and involved on campus. After volunteering with the Blackbird Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team during my first year, I became the Public Affairs Lead in my second year. This team allows students to learn and apply skills such as air frame design, manufacturing methods and computer systems.

In addition, I offer private tutoring for math to high school and first year university students.

Pursuit of Goals
This award financially helped me out and allowed me to focus more on my studies. Through the award I found a support system in OCISO. Everyone I met through this organization were all kind, helpful and made me feel proud of my accomplishments. I made meaningful connections and expanded my network and support group.

The award also gave me more courage as it demonstrated that working hard will be rewarded. This gave me more motivation to keep up my strong work ethic.

Message to Youth
When you arrive in Canada, keep in mind that there are endless possibilities. Dream big! If you have a goal in mind, you can achieve it because anything is possible.

I arrived in Canada when I was 18 years old. I felt unsure of what I could do because I felt too old. I decided to become a mechanic and work in a garage, however this wasn’t the right fit for me. After talking to more people who encouraged me to work hard, I challenged myself to get in the Aerospace Engineering program which I accomplished!

Our community is truly helpful. If you’re struggling, people in our community will reach out and help you. They will make you feel comfortable, give you advice and guidance. My advice is to not be shy and talk to everyone you can.

As for the language barriers, keep trying! Don’t worry about your language fluency affecting your goals because English and French will come with practice.

Assile Moussaoui
Undergraduate Student in Biotechnology, University of Ottawa
Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipient – 2018

Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology,University of Ottawa (in progress)

Sales Associate, Sunglasses Hut
Sales Associate, Browns

Post Award
Since being awarded the Marion Dewar Scholarship, I am continuing my education at the University of Ottawa. I am currently studying Biotechnology, a double honours program of both Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Pursuit of Goals
The award helped with my financial aid by paying a part of my tuition. The award decreased my OSAP loans and reduced the stress of having to repay the loans. This helped me stay focused on my education.

Message to Youth
Help is always available for any problem you will encounter in life. My advice to all youth is to feel comfortable to reach out and ask for help whenever you need it.


Salar Farokhi
Undergraduate Student in Health Science, Carleton University
Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipient – 2017

Bachelor of Science, Health Sciences, Carleton University (in progress)

Research Assistant, Bruin Lab, Carleton University 

Emergency Room and Epidemiology Research Volunteer, Ottawa Hospital (Civic Campus)
Visiting Program, Canada’s Multiple Sclerosis Society
Peer Mentor, Science Student Success Centre

Post Award
I am currently in the third year of my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences at Carleton University. In my first year, I participated in the Dean’s Summer Research Internship, a competitive internship for top science students. I completed the internship in a biology lab. In 2019, I received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) summer student grant and worked in Dr. Jenny Bruin’s lab. With a lot of hard work and dedication, we recently published a paper and I am working on two other publications.

My future career goal is to become a reconstructive plastic surgeon to help patients with dysfunctions and disabilities. I aim to learn and develop new techniques in plastic surgery.

In addition to my academics, I volunteer in medical areas to gain a better understanding of the field. I volunteer in the emergency room and for epidemiology research at the Ottawa Hospital (Civic Campus) and the Multiple Sclerosis Society through spending time with patients. In 2019, I started mentoring at the Science Student Success Centre. I also teach as the leader of a study group for physiology and genetics.

Pursuit of Goals
Through achieving the MDSF, the financial aid allowed me to focus on academics and not worry about the financial fees. I felt the community truly supported me through my academic endeavours. This was a great feeling and helpful to me in pursuing my goals.

Message to Youth
My message to refugees and immigrants would be to get involved in the community as much as you can and always strive to do your best in your studies. You have many more opportunities available that you may not have had in your previous country. Take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you!

Uyen Do
Master of Science Candidate in Experimental Surgery, McGill University
Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipient – 2013

Bachelor of Science, Biomedical Science, University of Ottawa
Master of Science, Experimental Surgery, McGill University

Research Assistant, Centre for Research in Neuroscience| McGill University

Indigenous Outreach Coordinator, Let’s Talk Science

Post Award
I was awarded the Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund (MDSF) at the start of my undergraduate program in Biomedical Science at the University of Ottawa. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I continually demonstrated academic excellence and received numerous scholarships to further my study. I graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2018 and accepted an offer to start my graduate studies in Experimental Surgery at McGill University. My research interest lies in analyzing risk factors and interventions that can affect postoperative outcomes at both the patient and population levels. With the help of a multidisciplinary team from universities in Montreal, I developed a simulation model to help train future health care professionals on a cardiac procedure. As part of my Masters’ thesis, I am currently managing a pilot randomized controlled trial to investigate impact of using opioid and non-opioid analgesics to reduce pain for patients after their surgeries.

In addition to my school and research work, I participated in various national and international volunteer initiatives. I taught children with special needs how to swim, volunteered at CHEO and Queensway-Carleton Hospital, traveled to Central America to provide basic health care needs to underserved populations, and co-led many student organizations. I also had the opportunity to visit Kuujjuaq (a northern village in the Nunavik region of Quebec) to lead science camps. I am very grateful for the meaningful connections I made in this community and this experience has led to my current position as the Indigenous Outreach Coordinator for Let’s Talk Science at McGill University. My roles include, but are not limited to, working with leaders and members from Kahnawake (a First Nations reserve close to Montreal) to organize science workshops and to provide mentorship to youth in the community.

Pursuit of Goals
Receiving the MDSF has encouraged me to continue pursuing my goals in academia as a researcher and in my community and as an advocate for science education. It was a humbling experience to receive the MDSF award in honor of the late Mayor of Ottawa, Marion Dewar, who has done so much not only for the Vietnamese refugee community, but also for all immigrant communities in Ottawa. This award, which recognized my past achievements, dedication to academia and involvement in my community, has inspired me to continue to work hard and to support the interests of others in keeping Mayor Dewar’s legacy alive.

Message to Youth
I am always thankful and appreciative of the sacrifices my parents made by leaving our home country and immigrating to Canada so that my siblings and I could have the opportunities that we otherwise would not have. It is important to remember our parents’ hard work and dedication to better our future. With opportunities and resources present here in Canada, I hope that we will never give up on our desire to succeed. With our successes, I hope that we continue to welcome, motivate and support incoming youth to help them reach their goals.

Hanan Awneh
Interior Design Coordinator
Marion Dewar Scholarship Fund Recipient – 2010


Bachelor of Applied Arts, Interior Design, Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology

Interior Design Coordinator, Claridge Homes
Designer, CMG Office Inferiors

Post Award
Since receiving the Marion Dewar Scholarship, I completed my Bachelor in Interior Design and have been working successfully in my field for the past five years.

Pursuit of Goals
The award has definitely helped me with my educational achievement, which is the reason for my success today. I felt supported financially and by the community through the award.

Message to Youth
I would like to say to all the youth that you must persist to achieve your dreams and then your persistence will pay off!

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Our Mission!

OCISO supports immigrants through the journey of making Canada their home by providing creative and responsive programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, by building community through mutual respect and partnerships, and by fostering healthy and inclusive spaces for open dialogue and healing.

What we do 🙂

We are community based non-profit organization that has been providing services in Ottawa since 1978. We are motivated by the stories of new immigrants, and we are there every stage of the journey. OCISO directly serves over 10,000 immigrants and refugees every year. Our work is augmented by the generous efforts of our enthusiastic, caring and talented staff, volunteers, both established and new Canadians.