Arlington Street Investments

border image

Scholarship Recipient Profiles

Lin Ruttan

Graduated from Gordon Bell: 2009
Attended: University of Winnipeg; Faculty of Education
Year of Completion: 2014

Meet the Arlington Street Foundation Scholarship’s (ASFS) first recipient Lin Ruttan. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in education.

“I have wanted to be a teacher since I was five. I always had great relationships with my teachers, so when I applied to university it was a no brainer; I was going to enter the Faculty of Education. I was prepared to bear the costs of my education myself. Fortunately, the year I graduated was also the first year Frank Lonardelli set up the Arlington Street Foundation Scholarship and I became the first recipient. Receiving the support from the foundation has helped immensely. Not only from the financial side, but also because of the mentorship the foundation provided. Whenever I was stressed or needed emotional support and encouragement I knew the board members were only an email or phone call away. They helped me through some of the toughest times during university and with difficult decisions I had to make.

In my final year of university, I made the decision to move my education abroad and join the University of Winnipeg Thailand Practicum Program. I was nervous about bringing it up with the board as I did not know how they would respond, but they were completely supportive. I went to Thailand to finish my last year of education and went back to Winnipeg to graduate. I was living and teaching in Thailand for four years. I have now returned to Winnipeg and hope to find a job teaching within the same division I grew up in. I believe my time overseas has helped me grow and become a better teacher to future students. I want to use everything I have seen and learned in the last four years and incorporate it into my classrooms here in Canada, where students will feel welcome and comfortable, just like I felt in school. I am now giving back to the scholarship by being on the board myself and mentoring another recipient. I believe in this scholarship and the dream that Frank has.”

Almaz Aschalew

Graduated from Gordon Bell: 2012
Attending: University of Winnipeg; Integrated Education Program; Faculty of Arts and Education
Year of completion: 2018

Meet scholarship recipient Almaz Aschalew. She graduated from Gordon Bell High School in 2012 and in now pursuing a degree in education through the University of Winnipeg’s Integrated Education Program.

“I come from a family that has always valued education. Its importance was often emphasized in my childhood. Throughout junior high and high school, I simply found comfort being in school. I recognized that I enjoyed attending school, not merely because of the education that I was receiving but also because of the way the teachers skillfully delivered that education. The teachers created a community in school that provided me a positive learning experience by promoting both social skills and academic achievements. My appreciation for teachers has always been great because they gave me an opportunity to discover myself and played a role by guiding me through my educational journey. The relationships I built with my teachers inspired me to choose teaching as my future career. I know it is not an easy profession but it will be worth it. I want to make the same positive impacts in my students’ lives by encouraging them in my classroom just as my former teachers encouraged me in their classrooms.

Since I started my post-secondary education in the fall of 2012, the Arlington Street Foundation scholarship has provided me with an enormous platform to achieve my goals financially and furthermore, through mentorship. My experience at the University of Winnipeg has been successful because of their outstanding support. I appreciate the fact that we have mentors who are in the education system because they give us the best advice and enable us to make good choices when it comes to our own education. This program is a blessing for me because I feel that someone recognized my full potential and believed enough in me to fully support me. We are very fortunate to be in this program and I am honoured to be a part of this amazing family.”

Colleen Chau

Graduated from Gordon Bell: 2013 
Attending: University of Winnipeg Faculty of Arts and Education 
Year of Completion: 2020

Meet scholarship recipient Colleen Chau. She graduated from Gordon Bell High School in 2013 and is now completing her last year of her English Honours Degree. She will then move on to complete her Education degree.

“My passion for teaching goes hand in hand with my passion for literature. Teaching literature goes further than simply teaching young people to appreciate great works of art, but rather, it is about using literature in order to make history, society, and even students’ own realities move from the abstract to the tangible. There is something so powerful about reading a black person’s memoir from the American Civil War or even a memoir of young Winnipegger who joined and then left the gangster life. Stories teach us about the world around us and also teach us about ourselves and how we can express our own stories to the world.

This passion of mine sparked when I first began working with students as a teaching assistant. It was inspiring to see my indigenous students read works by indigenous authors and feel like their own experiences were being validated or that someone was putting into words feelings that they could not describe on their own. Similarly, I worked with a summer learning program that targeted at-risk youth and we read stories about diverse families, experiencing poverty, and small acts that create everyday heroes. These stories brought my classes closer together and made us more of a community. 

I believe that the Arlington Street Foundation scholarship does something similar. The ASF scholarship begins, not with a random act of kindness, but rather with a story of inspiration. It begins with Frank’s story of struggle, hard work, and then triumph. For many of the recipients and applicants of the ASF scholarship who have their own backgrounds of adversity, this is something that echoes. It is a story about Frank, and yet it is also a story about us: about who we are and who we could become. That is what I think is most vital about the ASF. It incites us to strive for more and also provides mentors who can help us. In the future, I hope to also inspire new recipients who join our community, and also my future students.”

Ruth Mesgna

Graduated from Gordon Bell: 2014 
Attending: University of Winnipeg; Faculty of Science
Year of Completion: 2020

Meet scholarship recipient Ruth Mesgna, a biochemistry major with aspirations of working in scientific research.

“The program has allowed me to pursue my degree without stressing over the financial aspect of getting a university education. It has given me the freedom to focus solely on my studies and passions. One thing I really love about the program is that we each get a personalized mentor. This was extremely helpful when first entering university as having a mentor is a comfort in a place that is wholly new and it continues to be helpful in that I can talk to my mentor about my academic goals and aspirations and I get constructive feedback on how to improve my plans. I volunteer with Let's Talk Science, where I do experiments with children and youth in order to give them a greater appreciation for the sciences.”

Andy Nguyen

Graduated from Gordon Bell: 2015
Attending: University of Winnipeg; Faculty of Science, Biochemistry 
Year of Completion: 2021

Meet scholarship recipient Andy Nguyen. He graduated from Gordon Bell High School in 2015 and is now majoring in Biochemistry at the University of Winnipeg.

“This program is giving me the chance and opportunity to approach my dream career by providing me with financial assistance. They are also giving me help and guidance whenever I have questions about university life. To me, success is a function of reciprocation. Because of the ASFS scholarship, I don’t need to go to work full time in the summer to save money for my studying. Thus, I have more time to volunteer at the Winnipeg School Division, where I help many new comer kids in summer school to learn English and Math.”