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Spotlighting Our 2023 Cheekbone Scholarship Fund Recipients

Spotlighting Our 2023 Cheekbone Scholarship Fund Recipients

Join us in celebrating the recipients of our third annual Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund. Since the start of the program in 2021, we have been able to give back to even more recipients year after year, and we're privileged to be able to award final assistance to 10 incredible students this year with our Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund.  

The founder of Cheekbone Beauty, Jenn Harper created the scholarship fund in honour of her grandmother Emily Paul, who was a residential school survivor.   

Though the last residential school closed in 1996, many Indigenous communities and people are still dealing with the aftershock and trauma that these schools imposed while also still not recovering from the educational gap from these horrific practices.  

Since the birth of the program, the goal and mission of the scholarship fund has been to give back to as many Indigenous youth as possible- and our aim is to grow the list of recipients every year.  

Recent studies have shown that Indigenous youth are still feeling the effects of the residential schools within their modern schooling environment and in their professional endeavors – dealing with discrimination, micro aggressions and lack of support. In another recent study, the data has shown that only 11 percent of Indigenous peoples have a bachelor’s degree or any other post-secondary schooling compared to 35 percent of non-Indigenous peoples.  

Though there are steps being made to close the educational gap, it is still very apparent. The goal of the Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund is to help continue to close that gap and encourage Indigenous youth to follow their dreams and continue to succeed in their professional careers.  

In 2023, we had over 300 applicants to the Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund, highlighting the ever present need for these incredible individuals striving to make their lives and communities better. This year we want to celebrate and spotlight the following recipients:  

  1. Chantu William 
  2. Clarity Smoke  
  3. Evangalina Haigh Baptiste  
  4. Ina Fairbanks  
  5. Kali Corbiere  
  6. Megan Thompson  
  7. Olivia Beausoleil  
  8. Sage Hope  
  9. Stevie May  
  10. Tamika Johnston  

A Little Bit About Our Scholarship Winners  

Ina Fairbanks  

Ina Old Shoes – Kishketon is a proud Blackfoot member of Kainai located on Treaty 7 territory. She is currently attending Medicine Hat College in their Advanced Care Paramedic program. Her goal is to become the first female Advanced Care Paramedic from Kainai and to return to her reservation to work for the Blood Tribe Emergency Services (BTES). 

Outside of pursuing her education in medicine, Ina also has a deep interest in art, allowing her to express herself and dive into a different world. Through her passion for art, Ina launched a business named “Something Wonderful Studios” that showcases her original graphic design work on apparel.  

Ina is driven by her desire to give back to her community.  Receiving the scholarship fund from Cheekbone Beauty brings her one step closer to achieving her goals and dreams.  

When asked what advice Ina would give to other Indigenous students who want to pursue her chosen field she replied, “Do not make yourself believe we are not meant to fill these spaces. Don't doubt yourself, as you are the sole barrier to your own progress.” 

Sage Hope  

Sage Hope is a student at the University of British Columbia studying in the field of psychology. 

She plans on continuing her education by pursuing her Masters in Child Developmental studies. Sage recognizes her role within her community and strives to continue her education so she can give back. She believes in advocating for Indigenous inclusion and hopes to bring new perspectives to her field of work. 

The Cheekbone Beauty scholarship will help Sage alleviate financial burden and act as a source of inspiration and motivation to continue to thrive in her academic studies.  

When asked what advice Sage would give to other Indigenous students, she replied: “Your voice is essential in promoting cultural competence and addressing the needs of Indigenous communities within the field.”   

Stevie May  

Stevie May is in her second year attending Mount Royal University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Child Studies. Originally from Fort Simpson Northwest Territories, Stevie hopes to return home to give back to her community while working as a child and youth counselor.  

Stevie was inspired to get into the child studies program because she hopes to help Indigenous youth and families in regards to their mental health.  

When asked about why she chose the program she did, Stevie replied: “We all know that the Indigenous population is plagued with intergenerational trauma as a result of colonization, and so I want to be able to help families heal and overcome their traumas. Our youth are precious, as they are the ones in which our future depends on. So, it is our responsibility to pave the way for their success. I’m doing this work for my people and our future generations.” 

Stevie is grateful that the Cheekbone Scholarship fund will help with her finances so she can focus her full attention on her academic pursuits.  

Olivia Beausoleil 

Olivia Beausoleil is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at McMaster University. Olivia is Metis originating from Midland Ontario. Her deep sense of cultural belonging and background has inspired her passion and urge to learn more about Indigenous health. By studying Kinesiology, Olivia is equipping herself with the knowledge and skills necessary to address health disparities and promote active, healthy lifestyles within Indigenous communities. 

Olivia’s passion for sports has influenced her decision to pursue a career in Kinesiology, along with the influence of her father.  

When asked what advice Olivia would give to Indigenous students she replied, “I would encourage them to challenge the status quo and make change, while not being afraid of making mistakes along the way. This goes without saying that things will be difficult and there will be obstacles to overcome, but to keep persevering in the face of adversity.” 

Receiving the Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship will help Olivia achieve her educational goals while easing the financial barrier that many students face.  

 Evangalina Haigh Baptiste 

Evangalina is a proud Cree and English woman in her third year of nursing at the University of Calgary. She aspires to advocate for Indigenous communities to disrupt inequalities within healthcare and she encourages those to live as their happiest and healthiest selves. 

Evangalina’s biggest inspiration is her mother who also works in the healthcare field and instilled in her the value of compassion from a young age. 

Evangalina was drawn to this program because of her deep fascination with health and wellbeing. Throughout her life she has taken on caregiving roles, and it became clear to her that turning that passion into a career was the right path. The concept of holistic health resonates deeply with Evangalina and because of this passion, she is eager to begin working as a nurse. 

When asked about how the Cheekbone Scholarship program will impact her, Evangalina replied, “Receiving this scholarship reaffirms that I'm on the right path and acknowledges the effort I've put into my education. I'm immensely grateful to Cheekbone Beauty and their wonderful team for this recognition, as it empowers me to continue striving for success.” 

 Megan Thompson  

Megan Thompson is a 25-year-old Métis law student who is currently living on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh- what is known as Vancouver.  

Megan was born on Treaty 6 & 7 territory (what is known as Red Deer, Alberta) but she also grew up from the age of twelve on the unceded lands and traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən and WSÁNEĆ peoples (Victoria, British Columbia).  

She is a student at Peter A. Allard School of Law (UBC), currently completing her third year and will be beginning her career starting as an articling student this September.  

Megan is passionate about Indigenous language revitalization specifically within the Métis languages, Michif. She received a graduate certificate in Indigenous Language Revitalization as part of University of Victoria’s Masters of Education in the Indigenous Language Revitalization Program (MILR).  

When asked about why she chose the field of law, Megan replied, “As I grew up I realized law was a great fit for my interests and skillset, but that it also was an opportunity for me to make a difference to the lives of other Indigenous peoples. I was to be an advocate for other Indigenous peoples and make sure our voices are heard.” 

Megan is incredibly thankful for receiving the Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship and hopes to be able to give back to her community in a similar way one day.  

 Kali Corbiere  

Kali-Ocean is from M’chigeeng First Nation on the beautiful Manitoulin Island. She is a 27 year old anishnaabe kwe (woman) and very proud mother of a courageous and intelligent 10 year old.  

Kali-Ocean is currently in her first year of nursing at the Anishnaabek Educational Institute through Canadore College. Though she started her journey in nursing a little later than most, she is super proud of her resilience and the hurdles that she has overcome. 

Kali is incredibly passionate about indigenous youth and healthcare. She hopes to one day move back home to her reservation to work and share her passion with her community.  

When asked how the Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship fund will help her, Kali-Ocean replied, “This scholarship allows me to continue my studies as I have the burden of having to travel 113 km to and from daily for classes and clinical. It helps more than words can describe right now, I am incredibly grateful for Cheekbone beauty and this opportunity they have provided.”  

Tamika Johnston  

Tamika Johnston (Kaxhduhun, Taku Tla) is from the Teslin Tlingit Council, in Teslin, Yukon. Tamika is currently in her first year for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Indigenous Studies, at the Vancouver Island University, in Nanaimo, British Columbia. 

After completing her studies, Tamika plans to give back to her community and help as many Indigenous Peoples as she can.  

When asked why she got into her field of study, Tamika replied, “I realized that Indigenous Peoples have endured a lot of hardships in the past, so I chose to study psychology in hopes I’d be able to help Indigenous Peoples and communities with struggles in mental health. My Indigenous Studies minor is something I chose to study to have deeper understandings of the history of Indigenous Peoples on Turtle Island, and how we got to where we are today.”

Receiving the Cheekbone Scholarship has encouraged Tamika to move forward with not only her educational goals, but all of her life goals, by allowing her to be more financially stable.  

Thank you 

We also want to congratulate Chantu William and Clarity Smoke on receiving their Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund contribution.  

A huge thank you to everyone who has made the dream of giving back to Indigenous communities and youth possible. We are so excited to continue to grow the Cheekbone Beauty Scholarship Fund even more in the years to come.  

Keep an eye out for this year’s new Cheekbone Beauty product – expect an announcement this summer! 

Subscribe to our email list to be the first to find out more about the 2024 Scholarship product launch  

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