After the official launch of the GemStar Scholarship Fund on September 12, 2022 by its creator,
Ms. Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, on September 29, BMO Bank of Montreal, the sponsor of the three GemStar scholarships, held a reception at their headquarters in Laval to introduce the 3 selected students of the GemStar Scholarship Fund to the Bank Executives, Managers and Staff. The Black Entrepreneurs, who are clients of BMO’s Black Entrepreneur Program, were invited to attend. The three GemStar winners; Ronnell Thomas of Beurling Academy, Thallya Russo of John F. Kennedy High School and Kenya Yeboah Whyne of Westmount High School were all in attendance with their proud Moms.

An evening of speeches, success stories from the Black Entrepreneurs, presentations and gifts to the GemStars, good food and refreshments were enjoyed by all. The students were welcomed by Ms. Fatiha Senhaji, BMO’s National Director Industry Programs, and by Ms Hosna Kadary, Manager, BMO Black Entrepreneurs Program.

President of Playmas Montreal Cultural Association and the GemStar Scholarship Fund, Ms. Gemma Raeburn-Baynes gave an account of this initiative and offered special thanks to BMO, her employer of over 35 years, for their generosity and great support with the GemStar Scholarship Fund. Gifts to the GemStars, who are well on their way to making history and making us all proud, were presented by members of the Playmas Montreal Selection Committee, Mr. Akil Alleyne, Lawyer, Radio and Television Broadcaster and Ms. Latoya Belfon, Teacher, Author and Public Speaker. A great time was had by all.

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