Islay Graham / Jiya Kukreja

Jiya: A few years ago, Jiya and her family moved to Canada from India, which marked the start of a new chapter in her life. At the time, she was in grade 4, and despite learning English in India, Jiya was still nervous about her language skills. This impacted her confidence in school greatly. Luckily, she overcame this hurdle with the help of her teachers, peers and other resources in Grey Bruce. Jiya is proud to say that she is her school’s DECA and student council president. She is a HOBY alumni, a two-time recipient of the Applause Breakfast award and was her school’s MVP for badminton and volleyball.

Jiya Kukreja

In 2021-2022, she received the highest academic award in her first semester. In her free time, Jiya enjoys playing the piano and various sports, such as volleyball and badminton. She also actively participates in her school community through presenting morning announcements, peer leading, student senate, and more. Jiya is grateful for the support she received from those around her, as it allowed her to step outside her comfort zone and try new things. She expresses her gratitude to all who have helped and supported her throughout her journey.

Islay: Islay came to Grey-Bruce in the fall of 2007 and had to overcome language barriers and other challenges. Islay persevered, showing a desire to make the most of her opportunities. In school, she has involved herself in activities such as sports teams, volunteer tutoring, peer leadership, as vice-president of DECA club, and as grade representative, secretary and media coordinator for Student Council. She enjoys public speaking, chemistry, math, and basketball.

Islay Graham

Provincially, she has received honourable mention in piano at the Ontario Music Festivals Association competition, was Ontario runner up in the Royal Canadian Legion Poster Contest and is a DECA International finalist. She is a four-time Best of Fair winner at the Bluewater Regional Science and Technology Fair. She was honoured to receive the platinum award as the Best Junior Science project in Canada at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Fredericton, New Brunswick for her study of the endangered Great Lakes Piping Plover. She has presented her research findings to the Prime Minister of Canada and members of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). She has represented Canada at the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) in Anaheim, California. In 2020 she received the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award. Islay is a recipient of the Loran Scholarship Provincial/Territorial award. She is also a SHAD Canada scholarship recipient. Islay is grateful for the opportunities that have come her way in Canada and hopes to pursue a career as a paediatric surgeon.