2021 Ted Rogers Scholarship Recipient – Quentin Kozai
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) is incredibly proud to announce that one of our very own Littles, Quentin Kozai, has been chosen as a recipient of the 2021 Ted Rogers Scholarship.
Quentin has been a Little for eight years, having joined the program when he was nine years old and describes his Big, Monika, as more than just a mentor – she’s an important pillar in his life. Pre-pandemic the two of them loved to watch movies together, talk over food, and see theatre shows through a program at BBBST that provides matches with tickets to events. Since the pandemic started, they’ve stayed connected over video calls or through text, they’ve even watched a few virtual stage shows.
Having been a part of the program for so many years, Quentin reflects on how his relationship with Monika has grown “Since I’ve become more of a person and can actually hold a conversation, we have just been enjoying each other’s company and talk, which I’m sure Monika appreciates since I was not the biggest talker when I was younger.”
Quentin’s Future Plans
Quentin has just finished high school, will officially graduate in October, and will be attending York University for History in the Fall. He is very honest about the fact that finishing high school during a pandemic has been a challenge. Switching over to virtual learning halfway through his Grade 11 year brought on its own set of challenges and Quentin had to quickly adapt to a new way of schooling. He was able to balance his time between school work and applying to universities, but keeping the motivation and commitment to school was difficult at times.
In high school, he gained an interest in writing and the humanities, and always thought he’d major in Criminology at University (he was originally accepted into the Criminology program at York before he switched to History). The COVID-19 pandemic reminded Quentin that he should be doing what he is passionate about, and History has been that thing for as long as he can remember. His goal is to become an archivist and looks forward to classes in the Fall, getting one step closer to achieving that dream, and hopefully attending classes in-person!
The Ted Rodgers Scholarship has significantly lessened the stress of going to University for Quentin. Knowing that he can go through his first year without any financial worry will allow him to put energy towards other things and let him focus on the other hurdles in the post-secondary journey.