Congratulations to John Holland Award Winners Angelique DeSouza & Kayla Perrin!

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One of the events I have been most honoured to attend this Black History Month was the John C. Holland Awards on February 10th. At that event, my mother and I were pleased to present the Dr. Ethilda Johnson Bursary to an inspirational young woman, Angelique DeSouza. Illuminessence magazine was a presenting sponsor of the award, in memory of Dr. Ethilda “Tilly” Johnson. I am delighted to introduce you to this amazing young woman, who also attended the gala with her mom.

Angelique DeSouza is a 12th grade student at St. Mary’s High School. She has a passion and a calling for theatre, dance and ballet education. Angelique created the St. Mary’s Colour Guard Team and is a member of the competitive improvisation team and. She is described as a “trouper’ and does not care to always be in the limelight. She worked backstage on the Peter Pan set before auditioning for and landing a role in Cinderella.

John C. Holland Award Recipients 2018- Angelique DeSouza in striped black and white dress- Photo courtesy John Holland Awards

Angelique volunteers at Food4Kids, ClearView Kigers, and Hamilton City Ballet and works as a stable hand at Fox Run Stables, all while maintaining honours at school. She also taught herself piano (by ear) and learned how to read music. She has also served as a mentor to younger dancers and always willing to lend a helping hand to others. Angelique has been described by her math teacher as a leader who has the following qualities: integrity, kindness, generosity, and dedication towards all who she encounters.

Angelique demonstrates the qualities of an incredibly hard worker, someone who has extremely strong work ethics, she’s focused, dedicated to her craft, humble, committed and has the determination to succeed in no matter what she chooses. These are some of the many very special qualities that make Angelique special and led her to win the Dr. Ethilda Johnson Bursary at the John Holland Awards, sponsored by Illuminessence Magazine.

John Holland Awards 2018/ Photo Illuminessencemag

I also want to congratulate Illuminessence team member, best-selling and award-winning author Kayla Perrin on winning the John C. Holland Award for Arts, Arts History and Entertainment Award!

Author Kayla Perrin- John C Holland Arts Award Recipients/ Photo Illuminessencemag

Kayla Perrin is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning USA Today and Essence best-selling author, with over 50 books published. A Canadian of Jamaican descent, Perrin is best described as passionate, fearless, motivated and self-driven to excel at whatever she pursues.

Kayla Perrin has achieved alot of awards and accomplishments for her work including the Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times magazine for multicultural romance, the Arts Acclaim Award from the City of Brampton and has had books voted onto Romance Writers of America’s Top Ten Favourite Books of the Year list making her the very first black author to make this list. You can find out more about Kayla Perrin in her features on Illuminessence Magazine.

Here are more pictures from the John Holland Awards Gala:

Kayla Perrin and my mom (May-Marie Duwai-Sowa)- Photo/Illuminessencemag

Me, my mom,
Kayla and her daughter Chloe- Photo/Illuminessencemag

Kayla Perrin receiving her award- Photo/Illuminessencemag

John Holland Awards 2018

John Holland Awards 2018- Photo/Illuminessence Magazine

Marie-Paul Duwai-Sowa is the author of MP's Zone, a column to inspire tweens and teens. She loves to write, read, draw and spend time with her family.

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