Seneca alumni wins Premier’s Award for college graduates

Seneca graduate Adebola Taiwo Adefioye has received the Premier’s Award for College Graduates in the Recent Graduates category, having been chosen from among 20 nominees from across Ontario’s colleges.

Adefioye was recognized last night at the annual Premier’s Awards gala, held virtually this year, which recognize college graduates who have made significant contributions to their communities and achieved excellence in their careers in Ontario and throughout the world.

She is a two-time Seneca graduate, having completed the Child Development honours degree program in 2021 and earlier the Early Childhood Education diploma program. Adefioye is also the founder of the Afro Women and Youth Foundation, which provides leadership development programs for vulnerable girls and women in Africa and Canada.

“We are very proud that Adebola has received this prestigious award,” said Seneca President David Agnew. “This is a well-deserved recognition of her career accomplishments and ongoing dedication to supporting women and girls in Africa and Canada.”

As a newcomer to Canada, Adefioye’s family experienced racial discrimination, which inspired her to create the foundation. In 2020, she received the Black Community Leadership Award from United Way Greater Toronto and was named a finalist for the Universal Womens Network’s Women of Inspiration Award.

“I am very grateful and honoured to be a recipient of the 2021 Premier’s Award,” Adefioye said. “My motivation from day one has been a strong desire for growth and to be a role model for my children and Black immigrant women and youth. This award may not have been possible without the support of my family and my professors at Seneca.”

The Premier’s Awards were launched in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario’s colleges and are administered by Colleges Ontario.

Presented annually in seven categories, the recipients are chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario’s 24 colleges. Nominees must demonstrate outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their community.

Seneca’s other 2021 Premier’s Award nominees include:

  • Janine Barry, Digital Engagement Value Stream Leader, Assistant Vice-President, Manulife Bank of Canada (Internet & Electronic Commerce), in the Technology category
  • Dr. Sherry Boodram, CEO and Co-founder, CannDelta Inc. (Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs & Quality Operations), in the Health Science category
  • Ross Emerson, Founder and CEO, Ross Emerson Ltd. (International Business Management), in the Business category
  • Ainka Jess, CEO and Founder, She’s4Sports (Broadcasting – Television), in the Creative Arts and Design category
  • Sean Sportun, National Director, Strategic Accounts, GardaWorld (Law Enforcement – now Police Foundations), in the Community Service category.


Photo: Adebola Taiwo Adefioye, Founder of the Afro Women and Youth Foundation was honoured in the Recent Graduates category.

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