Dawson student is a Loran finalist

Out of a pool of over 5,200 applicants, Dawson General Social Science student Delice Betukumesu is one of 90 young Canadians selected as a Loran Finalist for the class of 2024.

In their press release, the Loran Scholars Foundation said these students “have demonstrated their intrinsic drive to step up in the face of challenges and positively impact their communities.”

Offered in full partnership with 25 Canadian universities, a Loran Award is valued at approximately $100,000 over four years of undergraduate study.

Delice will travel to Toronto next month for Loran’s National Interviews Feb. 23-25. Out of this group, 36 students will be selected as Loran Scholars for 2024.

The Communications Office interviewed Delice Betukumesu right after the news came out Jan. 12.

What is your reaction to being a Loran finalist, one of 90 students out of a field of 5,200 applicants?

Delice: To be completely honest, I have yet to process the news completely! It’s an incredible honour to be recognized amongst thousands of qualified and impressive candidates from coast to coast. I am extremely grateful to the Loran Scholars Foundation for offering me this opportunity.

Could you share some of the things you said in your application about your suitability as a candidate?

Delice: In my application, I focused on showcasing my community involvement in recent years, as well as tying these experiences back to the impact it has had on my environment and myself as an individual.

How are you preparing for the national interviews in Toronto next month?

Delice: I am preparing myself by engaging in deeper reflections about my past, present and future. I ask myself more questions about my motivations, my passions and interests, as well as the path that led me to this milestone in my life journey.

Tell me about your studies at Dawson. What have you enjoyed about your program and profile? What have you gained at Dawson? What did you like best? How has Dawson shaped you?

Delice: As a General Social Science student, I have benefitted from the freedom to explore the various disciplines that can be found under this area of study. This interdisciplinary approach has notably helped me narrow down my wide array of interests and give me a better idea of which fields I can envision myself pursuing. However, what I love the most about Dawson is its stimulating academic environment and diversified community, with students, faculty and professionals from various backgrounds. I thrive in spaces where I have the opportunity to meet different people from all walks of life, partake in enriching activities and initiatives, as well as challenge myself to the benefit of my self-fulfillment.

Tell me about your life at Dawson – what clubs, projects, teams, activities are you involved in? What about outside of school?

Delice: I am currently the Vice-President of Academics and Advocacy of our student union, where I assist students in academic grievance procedures, coordinate the activities of student representatives and oversee social justice initiatives. In the past year and a half, I have been involved in different clubs and projects at Dawson, such as The Vine podcast, Dawson Dinin’, Model United Nations and the Dawson Social Science Journal, to name a few.

Outside of the college, I have volunteered with various organizations, such as the Black Law Student’s Association of Canada (BLSA) and the Brown Women’s Empowerment Sisterhood (BWES), a local intersectional feminist non-profit.

What challenges have you had to overcome?

Delice: Ranging from health concerns, both physically and mentally, to negotiating my identity as a first-generation immigrant and black woman in society, I had to overcome a number of challenges in my lifetime. Despite my difficult encounters with reality, I believe it is important to persevere and continuously improve to become the best version of myself.

What is your vision for a brighter future and how do you see yourself contributing to that?

Delice: To me, a brighter future starts with the past. I believe it is important to acknowledge historical wrongdoings as the root causes of many unfortunate social, political and environmental phenomenons observed across the planet. I see myself contributing to this vision by raising awareness on these issues and advocating for justice through my personal and professional work.

What are your future plans? Which university do you plan to attend and what program?

Delice: I am currently in the process of finalizing my last university applications for the Fall 2024 term. I hope to either double-major in Sociology and Economics at the undergraduate-level, or pursue legal studies directly after CEGEP graduation. My end goal is to eventually obtain a Master’s specializing in International Economic Law and work as a policymaker or adviser in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices across the globe.

Anything else you would like to say?

Delice: I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mentors and social circle for their valuable advice, continuous encouragement and incessant kindness on my personal journey thus far. I would also like to give special recognition to Rashmini Segarajasinghe-Ernest and my wonderful team at the DSU for always inspiring me and keeping my heart full no matter the circumstances.

Last Modified: January 31, 2024