“I remember the day I got the phone call from the Awards Office, and I was just so happy,” says Olivia Grandy, first-year student in Carleton’s Bachelor of Journalism program. “In that moment I could see my hard work was paying off, which motivates me on a daily basis in my studies.”
As the inaugural recipient of the Jay Woo and CAA Scholarship at Carleton University, Olivia is the first undergraduate student to be awarded this Prestige Scholarship in recognition of her outstanding academic background, community leadership and participation in extra-curricular activities.
Named after Jay Woo—President and CEO of CAA Club Group of Companies, philanthropist and alumnus—this award attracts the best and brightest talent to attend Carleton University. When approached by CAA’s Board of Directors to establish this scholarship at the institution of Jay’s choice in honour of his purpose-driven leadership, Jay selected Carleton for equipping him with the foundations to make a difference, while shaping him into the person he is today.
With rescuing stranded motorists and saving lives at the core of CAA’s mission, Jay Woo's contributions support this commitment through his development of Geo-Temporal Gen 2. Using machine-learning algorithms, this predictive technology determines where and when motorist breakdowns are most likely to occur, enabling CAA to save lives by pre-positioning rescue vehicles where they are needed most.
As a proud alumnus, Jay vividly remembers one of his professors, Dr. Dan McIntyre, who taught an undergraduate course on introductory psychology. When Dr. McIntyre learned that Jay still incorporates his teachings in his daily life he said, “It’s very rewarding as a Professor to know that what I taught my students in my courses benefitted them not only in the short-term, but also in the long-term. I really tried to encourage students to gain a sense of how my courses would be important to them in their lives, and how they viewed the world.”
Although Jay graduated from Carleton with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1998, it wasn’t until recently that he had the opportunity to visit campus in broad daylight. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Jay worked at his family’s restaurant—formerly located on Bronson Avenue—during the day to support his mother and siblings following the sudden passing of his father.
“Jay Woo has an incredible story, and there is so much work ethic behind everything he does,” says Olivia. She continues, “Everything that he has been able to accomplish inspires me, and will be inspiring for future recipients as well.”
Much like Jay, Olivia has an undeniable work ethic that led her to work in the newsrooms of Saskatchewan’s Carlyle Observer and Estevan Mercury during her high-school years. Growing up on a grain farm outside of Estevan, Saskatchewan, it was Olivia’s self-described curious nature and passion for learning that led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in journalism.
From a small town to the capital of Canada, Olivia chose Carleton based on its reputation, research-driven journalism program, networking opportunities and for the unique beauty of its campus. Drawing inspiration from Robyn Doolittle, renowned Canadian investigative reporter, Olivia follows her advice that you have to go through the daily grind to uncover that career-changing story.
As she moves forward in her undergraduate degree, Olivia is most looking forward to exploring different areas to see where her path leads her, and expressed her gratitude to Jay Woo and CAA for their support on this journey. She described the feeling of being the first recipient as nothing short of ‘incredible’. “I am so grateful to Jay Woo and CAA for making this award available to students and that I was the selected recipient,” she says.
Benoit Antoine-Bacon, President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University, shares this sentiment. “Jay Woo truly embodies Carleton’s values and he is such a positive model for our students as they pursue their own aspirations to make a difference in the world.”
“Since establishing this partnership, Jay has shared both his philanthropy and research contributions with Carleton students by showcasing Geo-Temporal Gen 2 with our Institute for Data Science,” continues Bacon. “On behalf of Carleton University, I want to extend our immense appreciation to Jay Woo and CAA as we look forward to growing this holistic partnership for years to come.”
Banner Photo Credit: Jason Jones
Establishing a scholarship or bursary is an opportunity to give not to Carleton but through it—empowering Carleton students on their journey to drive the change our world needs. Click here to learn more about how you can advance purpose through education by establishing a scholarship or bursary reflective of a cause that is meaningful to you.
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