Wiikwemkoong woman one of four honoured with award

NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO – A Wiikwemkoong resident is one of four Northeastern Ontario women who have won 2020 Student Achievement Awards along with $2,000 scholarships from the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC). The awards are presented to Indigenous students who are pursuing a technical career.

Aaryn Zoccole of Wiikwemkoong is one of the four women, which includes Chantel Desrochers, Megan Laroche and Bohdana Innes.

Aaryn Zoccole

Sudbury.com reported on August 23 that Ms. Zoccole is the Robert Olivier Memorial Award winner. She has lived in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island since she was a teenager. This fall, she is entering her first year of the mechanical engineering program at the University of Toronto.

Earlier this year, she was a member of her high school’s robotics team that competed against 60 other student teams at a global competition in Detroit. Her team finished in the top three.

“I feel pretty good about receiving this award,” Ms. Zoccole told Sudbury.com. As for her future plans, “I plan to either be building aircraft, flying aircraft or becoming a medical doctor. There’s one thing for sure. I hope to be a role model and inspire other First Nations youth so they know that they could do it too. They can do great things even if they come from small communities.”