Scholarships Bursaries and Awards

Durham District School Board (DDSB) offers scholarships and awards that you can apply for in your graduating year of high school. Many individual high schools also offer scholarships and awards. Contact your school for more information on the awards they give out.

DDSB awards

You can apply for the following awards if you live in and attend school in the DDSB region.

Abilities Scholarship Award

The Learning Disabilities Association of Durham Region and the Durham District School Board have partnered to provide a $1000.00 Abilities Scholarship Award.  This scholarship recognizes a DDSB high school student who has a diagnosed Learning Disability and who is continuing studies (Apprenticeship, College or University) in the upcoming academic year. Candidates must be full time high school students during the current school year and be entering first year of apprenticeship, college or university in the fall.


All applicants are to provide:

  • A completed Abilities Scholarship Award Applicant Information Form; and
  • A submission (format of applicant’s selection- please see below) which conveys what it was like to have a learning disability at school:
  • How did it feel?                            
  • Who & what helped?
  • If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself in grade 9? 

Provide content in a format that is most applicable for applicant, but accessible to all.  Submission may be in the following formats:

  • Essay (150 word max)
  • Video (2 minutes)
  • Song
  • Poem / Spoken Word (150 max)
  • Dance
  • Drawing, Painting, Sculpture with optional word description

* Only one submission per student

Complete all sections of the application form, provide supporting documentation and submit it to your school principal by the posted deadline, April 5, 2024.

Ajax Shining Star Bursary (ASSB)

An initiative of the Town of Ajax Office of the Mayor, on behalf of Ajax Council, the Ajax Shining Star Bursary program supports the academic futures of underrepresented youth by providing an opportunity to access post-secondary education and achieve success in higher education.

The $10,000 program will provide two students from each of the Town’s five high schools with a $1,000 bursary to pursue higher education at the college or university level or an accredited trades/apprenticeship. A total of 10 bursaries will be awarded annually to eligible Ajax youth.

Learn more about eligibility, guidelines and the application process at

DDSB Chairperson's Scholarship Award

The Chairperson's Scholarship is an award given out annually to a graduating student.


To receive this award you need to:

  • Exemplify excellent leadership and citizenship
  • Represent student issues to others
  • Not be a Student Trustee with the school board
  • Be nominated by your secondary school principal
  • Be representative of the diverse student population of the Durham District School Board
  • Be representative of the geographic areas of the Durham District School Board
  • Have a diverse set of accomplishments and leadership endeavours


Secondary school principals must complete the electronic application form which will be submitted to Kathy Fitzpatrick, Trustee Services Coordinator on behalf of the Chair of the Board by May 17, 2024. Please included the following information about the nominee:

  • The extent to which they meet the criteria
  • Their contributions to school life
  • Their initiative in seeking the award

If the principal is not sufficiently acquainted with the nominee, they can submit the completed application provided by a staff member who is more familiar with the student. The principal should initial the form.

Chairperson's Scholarship Application Form


A committee consisting of the Chairperson and 4 other trustees will make the final selection. The award will be presented to the student at the June 2024 Board meeting.

Congress of Black Women of Canada, Ajax/Pickering Chapter Scholarship Awards

The $1,000 scholarships are awarded to Grade 12 graduating students who self-identify as a member of the Black Diaspora, living in Ajax or Pickering. More information about eligibility and the application process is available on the Congress of Black Women of Canada, Ajax/Pickering Chapter's Scholarships webpage.

Cultural Expressions Art Gallery Inc. Arts Scholarship

The Cultural Expressions Art Gallery Inc. offers a scholarship award in support of Black students in Durham Region. To be eligible, students must be in Grade 12 and attending a Durham Region high school with concrete plans to pursue post-secondary studies in the arts at an eligible Canadian institution. When it comes to which art forms are eligible, the range is broad—from the performing arts to museum studies; literary, visual and media arts; to arts administration and curatorial practice.

Three individual awards of $1,000 are available to high school students in the Region of Durham (Ontario) who will be attending eligible full-time Canadian post-secondary degree or diploma programs.

Successful applicants will be selected after a competitive adjudication process.

Learn more about eligibility, guidelines and the application process. 

Durham Black Educators' Network (DBEN) Cultivating Possibilities Awards

Activating Student Success Awards (Grades 7-12)

The Durham Black Educators' Network established the Activating Student Success Awards, inspired by speaker, author and principal Baruti Kafele, who visited Durham District School Board (DDSB) in 2012 to speak to students and educators about the lived experiences of racialized students. This award will be given to eight (8) Durham District School Board students, in grades 7 to 12. who self identify as Black and have demonstrated leadership in their community and/or school, as well as been a role model amongst their peers.

Alexander (Amo) Black Excellence Student Success Award

This $500 award is granted to a graduating grade 12 DDSB student who self identifies as Black, demonstrates excellence in sport, and/or  academics, and/or the trades, as well as demonstrates an ambition and plan to pursue their passion in sport, academics, and/or trades.

Apply for the AMO Award.

Change Makers (Grade 12 only)

These awards are open to any graduating Grade 12 students in the DDSB who self-identify as Black.

Apply for the following awards by April 26, 2024:

OSSTF Student Success Award

This $500 award is granted to a graduating grade 12 DDSB student who self identifies as Black and who is pursuing post secondary education.  Apply for the OSSTF Student Success Award.

ETFO Student Success Award

This $1000 award is granted to a DDSB grade 12 graduating student who self identifies as Black and who is pursuing a post secondary pathway in Teaching. Apply for the ETFO Student Success Award.

Education (Grade 12 only)

Mark Joel served as the Durham District School Board's (DDSB) Superintendent of Education, Operations, Transportation and Leadership Development. He marked the end of his career with the DDSB in 2014, after 35 years in public education. This award has been established in Joel's honour to provide a $500 scholarship award to a student expressing a desire to pursue studies in the field of Education.

Apply for the Mark Joel Trailblazer Student Success Award.

Professor G. A. I Nwogu Memorial Student Success Award

This $500 award is granted to a DDSB grade 12 graduating student who self identifies as Black and who is pursuing a STEM post secondary pathway. Apply for the Professor G.A. I Nwogu Memorial Student Success Award.

STEM (Grade 12 only)

This award was created in 2022 by Tony Steele to honour his parents Evelyn and Elisha Steele. This $1000 scholarship award will be presented to a Grade 12 graduating student who is pursuing post-secondary education in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Apply for the STEM Award. 

Application deadline for all awards is April 26, 2024.  Questions can be directed to Eleanor McIntosh, co-chair of the DBEN Cultivating Possibilities Awards at


Public Property Assessment Network Scholarship

This Scholarship is awarded in the amount of $1,000 to one recipient in each of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association’s (OPSBA) five regions.

Scholarship recipients are students of strong character, leadership skills and potential, who care deeply about their communities and furthering their own learning.

More information, with contact information and application guidelines, is posted on the OPSBA website.

Additional funding opportunities

The following funding is available to students across Ontario and Canada.

Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) National Scholarship Program (NSP)

The Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) offers multiple scholarships to Black individuals seeking post-secondary education and works to support and promote the achievement of academic excellence by Black Canadian youth. The goal of the scholarship is to maximize outreach and have these awards and grants readily available. 

You can learn more about these scholarships by visiting the BBPA website.

Black Foundation of Community Networks (BFCN) Scholarships

THE BFCN scholarships offer a way to break down the financial barriers that exist for many people trying to access post-secondary education.

Easter Seals Ontario Scholarship Program 

Easter Seals Ontario is committed to improving access to education, so that more students can achieve their dreams and reach their full potential. Scholarships offered through Easter Seals Ontario Scholarship Program provide youth with physical disabilities with the much-deserved opportunity to earn an education and carve their path in the world. 

Please note that, to be considered eligible, applicants must have a physical disability that impacts their mobility.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process.

Meridian's Commitment to Communities – Sean Jackson Scholarship

Meridian gives out the Sean Jackson Scholarship each year to 1 high school graduate who demonstrates both academic excellence and an outstanding commitment to their community. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) Grants

Explore the financial aid programs available through OSAP.

The Scholarship Report is a one-stop digital resource for Ontario high schools, students, and families.  It contains information on national and provincial scholarships, bursary, and award listings, as well as direct links, practical tips on locating and applying for scholarships, and much more. Contact your Guidance Department for the password to access the site.

Scholarships Canada

Scholarships Canada provides a collection of scholarships and awards from across the country. Read their directory and find funding opportunities available to you.

Storwell Bursary

Storwell is offering an annual bursary of $2,000 in support of foster children to help them attend
post-secondary schools and to offer a hand up as they make their way forward in life.

Storwell Bursary

TD Canada Trust Scholarship

TD Canada Trust gives out scholarships each year to students across Canada who demonstrate community leadership. Learn about the eligibility requirements and application process to see if you qualify.