Zakiya Abdulaziz

Jerni Stewart: Empowering Communities and Inspiring Change

In a world where influential figures have the power to shape perspectives and drive change, individuals like Jerni Stewart stand out as beacons of hope and inspiration. Jerni Stewart, a name that has been making waves in various spheres, is a testament to the impact that one person can have on communities and society. Jerni graduated with a Master of Health Sciences from the University of Manitoba.


Early Life and Education

Jerni expressed how important a role the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award played in her education. As a youth who has experienced periodic homelessness, financial security was not afforded to the young scholar. The funds she received from the program enabled her to pursue her volunteer interests and focus on her studies. She believes the award genuinely changed her life. During her undergraduate, she received not only Academic Excellence Awards but two awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

 Growing up, Stewart developed a keen sense of awareness about societal inequalities and the struggles that many individuals faced daily. This awareness laid the foundation for her future endeavors in creating a more just and equitable world. Stewart’s educational journey was marked by her determination to excel academically while also engaging in extracurricular activities that revolved around community service and social advocacy. She was able to make good connections and secure fulfilling volunteer work including working as a youth ambassador for Raising the Roof Homeless Shelter and working with Children’s Help Phone.


Empowerment through Education

Although Jerni Stewart has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, the type of medicine that interests her has changed and evolved throughout her studies. She is interested in exploring rural medicine but is taking time to explore all her interests and the options presented to her. Jerni is currently working in film and television where she has secured a couple of roles that are keeping her busy, including an independent film called “Rich Kid”.

She tells young people to find humanitarian work that speaks to them. By doing this they will make the greatest impact. In a world often rife with challenges, Jerni Stewart shines as a beacon of hope, showing that with the right intentions, actions, and perseverance, it is possible to create a brighter, more equitable future for everyone. She is currently in the process of applying for medical school and preparing for her MCAT exam.

2018 Recipient Biography

Jerni Stewart
Winnipeg, MB

When faced with the effects of mental illness, Jerni turned to the mental health community to foster programs to help educate teachers and children on mental illness. Her community initiative sparked a passion towards volunteering with organizations such as IRCOM – where she tutors child refugees – and at St. Boniface Hospital. She was also chosen to attend several conferences such as the Forum for Young Canadians and the Manitoba Student Leader Conference, which has helped educate her on the power she has to help her community. Jerni hopes to continue her humanitarian initiatives and passion for helping others while studying at the University of Manitoba in the Fall.