Donor Stories

Our College community is comprised of thousands of people who share a meaningful connection. Students who are on their educational journey, faculty who inspire learners, donors who give the gift of hope, and all our supporters who are committed to Centennial's mission and vision.

Read our stories and learn about our dreams and goals for today’s students, tomorrow’s leaders and the future of Ontario's first community college.

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Ralph Chiodo
Active Green + Ross Scholarship

In 1961, Ralph Chiodo, was a young Italian immigrant who worked at a gas station to make ends meet. Over 50 years later, Mr. Chiodo is the founder and president of the automotive chain, Active Green + Ross with numerous locations all across southern Ontario.

Much has changed over the last 50 years, and Mr. Chiodo is well aware of how far the automotive industry has come since his days as a young mechanic. He believes that the current generation of automotive professionals are not only mechanics, but technicians too, explaining, “Today everything is all done electronically.”

As well as being a respected business leader, Mr. Chiodo is also a generous philanthropist who passionately supports education, healthcare and immigration causes.

Mr. Chiodo established the Active Green + Ross Scholarship in the School of Transportation as a way to give back to the industry where he earned his success. Each year, two students from the Motive Power Technician diploma program will receive a scholarship in recognition of their excellent academic standing.

Mr. Chiodo is thrilled to support future generations of automotive professionals and help them along their educational journey. “I’m hoping to do whatever I can at Centennial to benefit students and our future tradespeople. Every time  I donate a dollar, I get thousands in return.”

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Randy Josephs
Leslie Ameen Josephs Scholarship

Randy Josephs is well aware of the self-confidence and self-assurance that comes from receiving a scholarship. Today, Mr. Josephs is Vice President of Operations for his family-run business, Kisko Products, but he vividly recalls the sense of accomplishment and pride he once felt as a scholarship recipient. That moment made a significant impact on him and he explains how this drove him to pay it forward. “I knew how much it helped me and I wanted to do something to help students succeed.”

Establishing the Kisko Products Scholarship seemed like the natural next step in a long-standing partnership with the College. The organization already offered co-op placements for Centennial students to gain practical experience in their field. After the passing of family patriarch and Kisko founder, Leslie Ameen Josephs in December 2007, the family changed the name of the scholarship to honour him. The Leslie Ameen Josephs Scholarship is awarded annually to a top-level third-year student enrolled in the Biotechnology program in the School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science.

The scholarship not only commemorates the life of Leslie Ameen Josephs, but also his personal values. Mr. Josephs remembers how the importance of philanthropy and giving back was something his father had instilled in his children. “We have all been raised to give and help others in need. It makes life feel worthwhile knowing you are helping others succeed and realize their dreams.”

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Wendy Hunter
Wendy Hunter Memorial Scholarships - Massage Therapy and Paramedic

Wendy Hunter was a beloved and respected friend, colleague, teacher and mentor. When she lost her battle with cancer in March 2014, a profound loss was felt throughout the healthcare community and amongst the students, faculty and staff at Centennial College.

Wendy made an enormous impact during her tenure at Centennial and is credited by her peers as someone who revolutionized the programs she worked in, mentored the colleagues she worked with, and inspired the students she taught since starting her career at the college in 1975.

Wendy is fondly remembered for her mantra “take care of you” and also for her dedication to helping others. Even after her passing, Wendy continues to do this, through the legacy gift that she bestowed upon the College. Through her estate, Wendy allocated funding so that two scholarships could be created to support the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Both scholarships were established in programs that Wendy played an instrumental role in creating and developing. The first scholarship is offered to students in the paramedic program which was one of the programs started by Wendy during her time at Centennial.

The other scholarship is available for students studying Massage Therapy.  Through Wendy’s tenacity and vision, Centennial was the first post-secondary institution in the GTA to teach massage therapy outside of private schools and clinics. Friend and colleague, Wray Barraclough, recalls how students from near and far enrolled, and how Wendy mentored every single faculty that came into the program. “She set the bar for teaching and learning.”

While presenting the eulogy at Wendy’s funeral, Centennial’s Associate VP Research and Corporate Planning, Trish Dryden, spoke of Wendy as someone who was "inspiring, demanding of excellence and honesty - tough, tender, and always asking us to do our best – to give more, to do more for ourselves and for others, to be more - as health care professionals, as educators, and above all, as human beings.” Even after her passing, Wendy continues to inspire the students who apply for the Wendy Hunter Memorial Scholarships. The application criteria requires that these future paramedics and massage therapists are not only performing well academically, but that they are also able to reflect on, and then write about, their development and personal growth since embarking on their chosen career paths.

As someone who had many roles in life - educator, mentor, colleague and, of course, friend, it is fitting that her legacy gifts symbolize the love and respect she had for students, the passion she had for teaching and her dedication to professional excellence. Wendy’s memorial scholarships recognize outstanding performance in two fields that Wendy held dear and will continue to inspire and encourage students to be the best that they can be.

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