Opterus Helen Rose Awards
 

Opterus Rebel with a Cause Awards

Opterus is providing 2 scholarship awards for young women, between the ages of 16-28 and enrolled/will enrol at a Canadian post-secondary institution, who are pursuing a STEM or Arts educational path. The awards are inspired by Founder, Janet Hawkins’ mother, Dr. Helen McKilligin, and sister, Valerie Ann Hawkins.

Dr. McKilligin led a remarkable and groundbreaking life. She graduated from the University of Aberdeen in 1958 with a specialty in pediatrics. She was a published author, writing a book with pioneering insights into the principles of neonatal nursing in 1970. She practiced in Newfoundland at the Grace Hospital and taught as an associate professor at the medical school at Memorial University in Newfoundland. She helped form the first Family Planning Association of Newfoundland that opened a birth control centre in St. John’s, which was the first of its kind in the province. In 1980 she moved the family to Ontario and worked for the ministry of health creating groundbreaking programs in reproductive health. Before retiring she also completed her fine arts degree at the OCAD University. Helen Rose McKilligin was my mother. The Helen Rose STEM Award is dedicated to her memory.

Valerie lived with ovarian cancer for 5 years but passed away in February 2019. She was in New York during 9/11 doing what she loved as a member of the cast of Rag Time on Broadway. I believe her cancer made her one more victim of that day. She was an incredible actor and a brilliant director. She was a part of so many productions, Les Miserables - the North American tour, Romeo and Juliet in Stratford, Anne of Green Gables in PEI and one of my favorites, Star Mites, an off-Broadway production in NYC, just to name a few. She graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and received the Lorne Greene Award for outstanding achievement in the practical and performing aspects of theatre while at Queen's. She also loved to rock and roll and sang in a local band in Stratford Ontario. And man, did she sing. We lived in California when I was 4 and she was 6. We shared a bedroom and she sang me to sleep, always Blue Spanish Eyes. She did it almost every night because she knew it made me happy. When she passed my best friend said of her; “I’ve been thinking of that idea that consciousness is like radio waves and our bodies are just a tuner. I’m thinking the cosmos just had this incredible musical source returned to it and some lucky body will get the chance to tune into sometime in the future.” I hope this award can go to someone who might be able to tune into her frequency. Valerie Ann Hawkins was my sister. The Valerie Ann Arts Award is dedicated to her memory.

The scholarship application deadline will be June 15, 2020 at 11:59 EDT for both awards.

 

Opterus Helen Rose STEM Award - $10,000

To apply for the Helen Rose STEM Award, you must be a woman between the ages of 16-28 and plan on pursuing an education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) at an accredited Canadian university or college. The student we are looking to fund is pursuing a field of study that will help them in the future to create or contribute to a new mindset for a better world. 

Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award - $10,000

To apply for the Valerie Ann Arts Award, you must be a woman between the ages of 16-28 and pursuing an education in the Arts at an accredited Canadian university or college. The student we are looking to fund is pursuing a field of study that will help them in the future to create or contribute to a new mindset for a better world.