Jambo Harley
Samantha Uweneza

by Cole Crawford

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Just wanted to pass along this story idea Black Ottawa Scene might be interested in, of two students from Ottawa who today were named recipients of the RBC Future Launch Black Youth Scholarship.  Samantha Uwaneza and Jambo Harley were two of 20 students awarded $10,000 (up to four years) towards academic and other life expenses.

Black youth from across Canada were considered for the annual award, which is now in its third year and recognizes both strong academic performance and community involvement. The award is designed to help reduce the barriers to post-secondary education and training for Canadian Black youth.

Samantha Uwaneza is a second year finance student at the University of Ottawa who also grew up in Ottawa, and was nominated for the scholarship by the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation. Her passion outside of school is spending time helping others who are marginalized and overlooked by society.

“I am passionate about many things, but my greatest passion lies in helping others, more specifically those who are marginalized and overlooked by society,” said Uwaneza. “I get so much joy knowing my time alleviates the burden of those in need, including those who suffer silently as I can really relate to their struggles. So whether it’s volunteering at my food bank, my church, or at my community centre which are all resources that’s been vital to me and my family, that makes me happy.

In addition to being an active volunteer in her community, Samantha’s goal is to become a financial advisor after she graduates to help individuals who don’t typically have access to financial education.

“Low income individuals typically don’t have access to financial education creating disparity between us and our peers,” said Uwaneza. “I plan on reducing this gap by becoming a financial advisor and giving free education in my community.  My goals for the future is to really make the world a better place for everyone no mater your race, religion or ethnicity.”

Jambo Harley, a grade 11 high school student, was nominted for the scholarship by The Centre for Resilience and Social Development. Passionate about sports, math, friends, family and health. In the future, Jambo hopes to in his future expand his passion for sports and health leading to a career as a sport physiologist. 

“My passions are sports, math, friends, family and health,” said Harley. “After I graduate, I want to expand my passion for sports and by studying kinesiology and sports medicine, eventually becoming physiologist.”

The scholarship was informed by an advisory committee of Black academics, business and youth-serving leaders who provided their insights and lived experiences to build a powerful scholarship experience that goes beyond funding.  

Photos attached courtesy of Samantha Uwaneza and Jambo Harley. Samantha and Jambo are available for interviews. If interested in speaking with either of them, please let me know. 

To see the list of all the 2024 scholarship recipients, visit: 


Cole Crawford is with Sterling communications