Skyla Mercer hails from North Bay, Ontario, and she is this year’s recipient of The Dr. Heather Onyett Scholarship. It is awarded to Victoria College students achieving excellence in the course of their studies, with preference given to students from northern Ontario. Mercer is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialist in accounting and a minor in economics. “Winning this scholarship takes stress off of me. There aren’t many northern Ontario students who attend U of T but it is wonderful to have the opportunity. It was intimidating to choose a university with more students than the population of my town! Knowing that the late Dr. Onyett created an award specifically to support northern Ontario students has fostered a sense of community and support that assures me that I belong at Vic,” says Mercer. “It also makes me feel special and gives me more time for my co-curricular activities.” These activities include being director of events for the Rotman-Commerce Accounting Society (RCAS) and UTSC lead campus ambassador for KPMG. Initially intimidated by U of T’s size, Mercer has gone on to create pockets of friends all over the campus. “Vic is a friendly and welcoming place. I can sit down for lunch in Burwash Hall and leave with three new friends. Vic is a community within the much larger Toronto landscape.”
Mercer hopes to pursue a Master of Accounting and then work towards her CPA designation. Her long-term goal is to work at a large accounting firm with the objective of becoming partner.