September 3, 2020
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation former Board Chair Daryl Rock creates new scholarship to help students with disabilities kick-start their careers
Former Board member Daryl Rock, who served as the ONF’s Board Chair in the Foundations early days has created a new scholarship for students with disabilities to help them kick-start their careers.
Rock who suffered a spinal cord injury in the early 80’s says education was the cornerstone that enabled him to contribute and impact his community. He became an advocate for accessibility as a public servant, working to create positive change in areas such as social development, disability rights and knowledge mobilization.
“Despite the gains we’ve made, around 80 per cent of the workforce remains closed to people with disabilities, and that figure is higher for people without post-secondary education.”
Recognizing this barrier Daryl and his wife Melanie created the scholarships to encourage and support Carleton University students with physical disabilities to pursue post-secondary education. The scholarships are for students who are registered with the university’s Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities and are studying engineering, science, accounting or any program at the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs. The four scholarships will provide $5,000 a year for four recipients for the duration of their four years of studies.
Melanie and Daryl Rock decided to focus their scholarships on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, as well as public affairs, because they believe there will be high demand in Canada for workers in these professions. They wanted to provide opportunities for people with physical disabilities to develop high-demand skills that will help them throughout their lives.
From supporting ONF through the Board of Directors to public sector advocacy work and now capacity building philanthropy, Rock continues to show his commitment to improving the lives of people living with spinal cord injury in Ontario.