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Remarkable women, remarkable achievements

The Ban Righ Foundation recently held its annual Spring Celebration, recognizing 14 students with awards.

They overcome hurdles and obstacles to their success.

They come from near and far, in many cases bringing with them their families and rich life experience.

They use their skills and knowledge to benefit others, including disadvantaged youths, victims of violence, and individuals with physical or mental health challenges.

Above all, they pursue their passions, and they persevere, and last weekend 14 female Queen’s students were recognized for their remarkable achievements at the annual Ban Righ Foundation for Continuing Education Spring Celebration.

[Alyssa Aiello]
Alyssa Aiello, the recipient of the Janet Bilton-Holst Award, shares her story at Saturday's event. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

“The Ban Righ Foundation was created to foster women’s achievements at Queen’s, and each spring we have the opportunity to recognize another group of talented women,” says Carole Morrison, Director of the Ban Righ Centre. “Congratulations to all of our award recipients, and a special thank you to those who are improving the lives of women here at Queen’s, in Canada, and internationally through their research, work, financial support, and volunteering.”

Among this year’s recipients is Alyssa Aiello, who was presented with the Janet Bilton-Holst Award. The award recognizes a woman who goes the extra mile to make the Ban Righ Centre a welcoming place for other students.

Ms. Aiello says the Ban Righ Centre has been a ‘second home’ during her time at Queen’s. Ms. Morrison says that while Alyssa worked as a summer student at the centre, and since that time as a member of the student community, she has helped create that same welcoming environment for many others.

“Alyssa has played an ambassadorial role, introducing many other students to the centre, chatting with new students, and volunteering on many committees and at events,” she says. “We are grateful for Alyssa’s positive energy and willingness to share her warmth with her peers, and promote the centre as a comfortable inclusive space where students can work and connect.”

Ms. Aiello praises the support of the staff, and her mother, as she prepares to start her masters studies in urban and regional planning – her third post-secondary credential.

“My decision to return to post-secondary education was a decision I made with the help of my mother,” she says. “I wanted more for myself, and she assured me I could have anything I set my mind to. The support I receive from her, and my family at the Ban Righ Centre, has made a substantial impact on my success at Queen's.”

The Ban Righ Foundation was established to support the continuing formal and informal education of women, especially mature women returning to Queen’s. To learn more, visit banrighcentre.queensu.ca

[Staff of the Ban Righ Foundation, award recipients, and donors]
Staff of the Ban Righ Foundation, donors, and spring award recipients gather for a photo. (Photo by Bernard Clark)