Announcing The 2024 MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarship Recipients

2024 MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarship Recipients

Niagara Falls, Ontario (May 23, 2024): The McCall MacBain Foundation announced 12 MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarship recipients who will each receive up to $44,000 to pursue post-secondary studies at their choice of institution starting this fall.

This is the seventh and, to date, the largest cohort to receive the Scholarship founded by John and Marcy McCall MacBain to support young students from John McCall MacBain’s hometown. Scholarships are awarded to applicants with exceptional character, active involvement in community service, and leadership potential. In addition to the full scholarships, seven finalists will be supported with a one-time $2,500 award.

This year’s MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarship recipients are: Shahad Abdul-Aziz (A. N. Myer Secondary School), Kaytlan Bujilov (Westlane Secondary School), Francesca Cavezza (Saint Michael Catholic High School), Michael Iancov (A.N. Myer Secondary School), Michaiah Ivri (A. N. Myer Secondary School), Charlotte Johnstone (Saint Paul Catholic Secondary School), Megan Kennedy (Saint Michael Catholic High School), Lily Lococo (Saint Michael Catholic High School), Arielle Longo (A.N. Myer Secondary School), Davin MacKenzie (Saint Michael Catholic High School), Domenic Talarico (A.N. Myer Secondary School), and Sarah West (Stamford Collegiate).

Every year, I am inspired by the values, service, and leadership shown by young people from my hometown. Marcy and I couldn’t be prouder to support this next generation of change-makers from Niagara Falls,” said John McCall MacBain, OC. “I am confident that each of them will continue to leave a lasting impact on local and global communities now and in the future.”

The chosen scholarship recipients will attend universities and colleges across Canada to pursue degree and diploma programs in various subjects, including art history, wildlife conservation, social work, medical sciences, architecture, mechanical engineering, sustainability, and more.

Aligning with the Scholarship’s ethos, this year’s recipients demonstrate a deep commitment to improving their communities in a wide range of ways. They include those who have coached school and community sports, developed their own video game, founded a digital arts magazine, led inclusion initiatives and community-building events at school, volunteered to serve local charities and families, trained with the Canadian Armed Forces, and have been youth leaders with the Niagara District School Board.

Scholarship recipients were selected through a comprehensive process that included a written application, school nomination, and in-person interviews.

Since its launch in 2018, the MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarship has supported over 40 students from Niagara Falls to pursue post-secondary education. Applications for the 2025 cycle open on September 17, 2024.

Learn more about the Scholarships here:

About John McCall MacBain, OC

Originally from Niagara Falls, Ontario, John H. McCall MacBain is a Founder, Director and Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation. Read More.

About the McCall MacBain Foundation

The McCall MacBain Foundation’s mission is to improve the welfare of humanity by providing scholarships and other educational opportunities that nurture transformational leadership, and by investing in evidence-based strategies to address climate change, preserve our natural environment, and improve health outcomes.

The Foundation has made significant investments in the leadership potential of young people, most notably through the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill, the Rhodes Scholarships, the Loran Awards, and scholarships at several universities in Canada including McMaster University and Dalhousie University, as well as the Mandela Rhodes Scholarships based in South Africa and the Kupe Leadership Scholarships in New Zealand.


The 2024 MacBain Niagara Falls Scholarship Recipients:

Shahad Abdul-Aziz
A.N. Myer Secondary School
Computer Science (University Pending)

Shahad is a volunteer Reading Buddy, helping children practice their reading at the Niagara Falls Public Library. She has also volunteered as a math homework helper at the Library and an English tutor for an ESL student. She has worked as a student math teacher at the Niagara District School Board’s summer program. She learnt coding through online resources and built her own video game at the age of 13. Shahad is a co-founder of the Girls-in-STEM Club and co-leader of the French Club at her school. She has been a member of the Mental Health Club, Team of Inclusion Equity and Diversity, Crochet for Comfort, and Student Advisory Committee.

Kaytlan Bujilov
Westlane Secondary School
New Media, Toronto Metropolitan University

Kaytlan is the Co-president of the Westlane Art Club, where she organizes events and workshops and uses online platforms like Twitch and Discord to bring other like-minded artists together to learn and share. She is an active Niagara District School Board Arts Council member, organizing and promoting events that bridge the school with local artists and the community. She was part of the organizing team for Coffee Houses to provide entertainment for students and parents. She has also worked as a cashier at a retail store and host at several restaurants.

Francesca Cavezza
Saint Michael Catholic High School
Medical or Health Science (University Pending)

Francesca has been involved in student affairs activities since sixth grade and serves as the Student Council President. She is also an active member of the Key Club, where she participates in community clean-ups, makes Christmas cards to support a local charity, and organizes events to support Women’s Place of South Niagara and the Thirst Project. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked at a struggling local marketplace to help keep it afloat. Francesca has campaigned to raise awareness and funds for mental health causes through the Kids Help Phone Line at her school. She also works as a barista at a café.

Michael Iancov
A. N. Myer Secondary School
Medical Science or Engineering (University Pending)

Michael serves on the City of Niagara Falls Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee where he was involved with The Green Movement, a series of incentives-driven actions to reduce carbon footprint. He plays badminton and chess and is Co-Chair of the Athletic Council. He served as a Co-facilitator for Relay for Life, bringing local sponsors and fundraising to support the Canadian Cancer Society. He was a peer leader for REACT, a youth-led action group that educated and advocated for healthy lifestyles for the Niagara Region Public Health. Michael also serves as a Youth Leader for COMPASS, a Brock University research and engagement initiative for youth health.

Michaiah Ivri
A.N. Myer Secondary School
Architectural Studies, University of Waterloo

Michaiah is a member of the University of Toronto’s PursueSTEM and the Lifelong Leadership Institute’s Leadership By Design program, where she facilitates discussions on climate change and the environment, and engages in STEM projects. She co-founded Roots Club to create a sense of allyship between Black and Non-Black students and uses the platform to fundraise for Black community-serving non-profits and educate students on the contributions of Black Canadians. In Grade 10, Michaiah was elected as the LEOS Club President, where she helped raise money for children fighting cancer. She has worked at an architecture firm and has served as the Chair of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council.

Charlotte Johnstone
Saint Paul Catholic Secondary School
Arts, Wilfred Laurier University

Charlotte is an elected Student Trustee to the Niagara Catholic District School Board. She has been part of the Student Council for four years serving on the tech team and the spirit and social team. She currently serves as its President. She was a travel soccer player and has played at the Ontario Player Development League for three seasons; Charlotte is now training to be a coach. She led her school board’s “Time To Shine Formal”, creating a space for students from different schools to interact and have fun. Charlotte also performs as a vocalist for various music groups. She works as a tutor for a local student.

Megan Kennedy
Saint Michael Catholic High School
Creative Writing, English Language, and Literature, Western University

Megan is a Social Media Coordinator for the Athletic Council, where she engages her peers in the school’s athletic events, contributing to student community building. She also actively takes part in social work, exceeding targets for a fundraising initiative for a family fighting cancer at the Ronald McDonald House. Megan has been a cheerleader who now coaches other students at a local gym. She volunteers to provide care to vulnerable animals at the Welland Humane Society. Megan has also worked as a host at a restaurant and as a guest services worker in the local tourism industry.

Lily Lococo
Saint Michael Catholic High School
Social Service Worker, Sheridan College

Lily is a multi-sport athlete representing her school & community in rugby, baseball, curling, and track and field. She is a member of the Athletic Council where she leads events and plans tournaments, creating opportunities for young students to connect over sports. She was a member of both the Eco Team and the Health & Wellness Club at her school. Lily learned makeup artistry and participated in the Niagara District School Board’s annual skills competition for aesthetics, where she placed second in the provincial skills competition. Lily helped manage and participated in a fundraiser trivia event for a children’s charity. She works as a Junior Manager at a fast-food restaurant.

Arielle Longo
A.N. Myer Secondary School
Art History & Studio Art, Concordia University

Arielle has served as the President and Lieutenant Governor for Key Club, a student-led community service organization where she led diverse projects such as building awareness around menstruation and raising funds for the global water crisis. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of a bilingual digital arts magazine that has helped promote over 500 young Canadian artists. She is also a Cappies Critic reviewing high-school theatre productions with publications in the St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Falls Review. She has been a Student Council and Arts Council member at her school. Arielle also works as a Sales Associate at the Niagara Parks Association.

Davin MacKenzie
Saint Michael Catholic High School
Paramedic, Niagara College

Since completing Basic Military Training, Davin has served as a reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces and continues to engage in various military training intensives. He is also highly involved in his church community and its services, such as Sunday youth groups, masses, and community outreach events. Davin was also a member of his school’s religious council, helping to run the daily breakfast program. In his free time, he plays travel soccer and has been a midfielder for almost eight years. Additionally, Davin gained sales and customer service experience working as a Sales Associate at a retail store.

Domenic Talarico
A.N. Myer Secondary School
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Technician, Sault College

Domenic is an avid athlete and sports player. He is captain of the school swimming and soccer teams, plays badminton, and hosts BMX racing competitions. In addition to being an assistant coach with the Welland Wizards Soccer team, he is a fully certified lifeguard and swim instructor, having completed all five levels of the Lifesaving Society Lifeguard Program at Brock University. Over the summer, he volunteered at a summer camp engaging young kids with various activities, including crafts, archery, and field games. Domenic works as a respite support worker for a local family and is a shop technician at a local store.

Sarah West
Stamford Collegiate
Environmental Sustainability (Concurrent Education), Lakehead University

Sarah has played ringette for over 8 years and seeks to develop an interest in the sport among younger girls. After serving for two years as a junior coach of a local U8 team, Sarah stepped into the role of head coach. For the last two years, she has competed in floristry for Skills Ontario where she has placed first and second consecutively. She has also worked as a floral designer at various local florists. She is a self-taught guitar player and was a student teacher for the Niagara District School Board. Sarah has also worked as a host at a local restaurant.

Read about the 2024 McCall Huron County Scholarship Recipients here.