joshua telemaque

Student targeted by racism in yearbook gifted with 4-year scholarship to university

The Toronto Argonauts and & the Pinball Clemons foundation gave a student, who was the target of racist behaviour, a 4-year scholarship to any university of his choice.

In honour of his 18th birthday, Joshua Telemaque was gifted the scholarship by the Argo’s communications manager, Mike Hogan.

“I’m so appreciative and I’m so grateful for this. It touched my heart and it means the world to me right now,” said Telemaque upon receiving the gift.

Friends and fans came around his house to celebrate his birthday through a car drive through, and Toronto Raptors player, Malcolm Miller, also sent him a birthday message.

The Mayor of Ajax awarded Telemaque a certificate from the town's council as well.

Telemaque, a student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering, intended to honour his late grandmother in his yearbook message by writing "RIP Grandma. Thank you for guiding me through my four years of high school."

But instead of this heartfelt message being printed next to his name and photo, a racist message about Harambe, the gorilla that was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo, was written in its place

The story quickly went viral and was immediately met with widespread outrage and disgust, and the high school's principal, Susan Duane, issued a letter in response soon after.

“It’s an awful story and to make something good come out of it, that’s what we wanted to do,” said Hogan.
 

Lead photo by

Shaun Collier


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

There's a major problem with Toronto's waterfront and it has to do with bike racks

Here's what the TTC's new bus terminal might look like

Marie Curtis Park is Toronto's local spot for a low-key day at the beach

The amusement park on the Toronto Islands is reopening for the summer

Cannabis store replacing closed Starbucks and people say Toronto is officially ruined

The history of Toronto's lost palace

Toronto installs duckling docks to save baby animals from drowning in harbour

Toronto just got a new rooftop park and it's spectacular