Amber Reid and Edward Hon-Sing Wong Receive Hilary M. Weston Scholarships
The Hilary M. Weston Scholarship is granted each year to two students enrolled in a full-time graduate-level social work program at an Ontario publicly funded university.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, Amber Reid was introduced to the field of Mad Studies, which focuses on the experiences of those who have been through the mental health system. This ignited her interest in studying how health systems both benefit and oppress people living with mental illness.
With her Hilary Weston Scholarship, Amber will pursue a Master of Social Work degree at York University, furthering her research into the root causes of the stigma and systemic barriers surrounding mental illness.
As a social activist, Amber is already working to remove these barriers. While volunteering for Sistering: A Woman's Place Drop-In Centre, she designed and ran a peer-support group to help women and trans people cope with the internalized effects of systemic violence.
Amber's social activism, academic research and personal experience all support her mission to improve the quality of life for marginalized people experiencing mental health distress.
Edward Hon-Sing Wong has always been concerned about the lack of consideration for the mental health consequences of social issues.
After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, he earned a Diploma in Social Service Work from George Brown College and then a Master of Social Work from York University for his research focusing on immigration, racism, oppression of disabled people and mental health.
Edward will use his Hilary Weston Scholarship to begin a PhD in Social Work at York University. He plans to examine how the practices of frontline mental health workers intertwine with police interventions against people diagnosed with mental illness.
Edward is also an experienced mental health worker and a passionate advocate for social justice. He has worked and volunteered for a variety of community organizations, including the Canadian Mental Health Association where he is currently a social worker in the Transitional Youth Program.
Edward's commitment to fighting injustice and to challenging current practices promise exciting outcomes for the field.