Skip to main content

Celebrating CIC’s Class of December 2023

By December 18, 2023December 19th, 2023No Comments

The air resonated with joyous cheers as families, friends, teachers, and staff gathered on December 14 to celebrate the achievements of proud graduates at Columbia International College’s third graduation ceremony of the year.The graduates not only demonstrated academic brilliance but also actively engaged in volunteer opportunities, accumulating an impressive total of over 2,800 community service hours.

The first wave of university admission offers for 2024 has started rolling in from mid-November. Congratulations to students who have secured spots at prestigious universities like the New York University, University of Melbourne, University of Alberta, Western University, University of Ottawa, and many more! Your hard work has truly paid off.

After six months of study and enriching extracurricular experiences, a group of exchange students has successfully completed the CIC credit program and received their certificates. They are about to leave Canada and return to their home country to continue their studies. Best wishes for a promising journey ahead!

Families traveled across oceans to witness their children’s confident walk across the stage. The immense pride they felt for their children’s achievements was truly heartwarming.

Inspiring speeches

Principal Diana Reid encouraged everyone with the famous saying of American abolitionist activist Harriet Tubman: “Every great dream is started by a dreamer.” She pointed out that everyone has the passion and power to change the world.

Candy Hui, Senior Associate Registrar, Student Recruitment, McMaster University, took to the podium to present the keynote speech. She offered sincere congratulations to the graduating class for starting a new chapter of their lives.

She recalled her experience of immigrating to Canada with her family when she was young. Despite difficulties including a language barrier, they remained positive and optimistic. They worked hard to raise four children and provide them with a good education. She encouraged the graduates to be grateful to their parents, move forward courageously, and achieve their goals in life.

Melissa Bozovali, a member of CIC since Grade 7, emphasized the collective strength derived from unity and the need for flexibility and strength during tough times.

From being the co-captain of our varsity volleyball team to contributing to the Model United Nations, Basketball Intramurals, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program, and serving as the Vice President of the DECA team – Melissa embraced every opportunity with enthusiasm.

She emphasized the collective strength derived from unity and encouraged her peers to be flexible and strong during tough times.

Awa Minteh, delivering the Vote of Thanks, expressed deep gratitude to parents, teachers, and CIC’s Total Care staff for their instrumental role in the graduates’ success.

Arriving in October 2022, Awa’s CIC journey has been nothing short of inspiring. Throughout her stay, she consistently poured a determined effort into everything she did, showcasing remarkable dedication.

Despite her quiet nature, Awa’s actions spoke volumes as she accumulated over 80 hours of community service in just one year. Much of this time was spent as a devoted member of the Students On-Campus Serving (SOCS) team. Awa joined this team driven by the belief that giving back to the community is of utmost importance.

Awa expresses gratitude to all departments of the CIC Total Care Education: the Principal and Academic Office, teachers, tutors, Admissions and Liaison Department, Residence, Student Leadership Development Department, Guidance and University Placement Office, Security, Medical and Wellness, IT, Chartwells, and housekeeping, for their unwavering care and support for the students.

In his speech, CIC founder and CEO Clement Chan shared his own journey as an example of success for international students in Canada. He vividly recalled the moment in 1972 when he arrived at the Toronto Airport with just a suitcase, taking a bus to settle down at a relative’s house. After graduating from college, he went on to establish CIC in 1979, welcoming its first group of students.

Fast forward 45 years, and today, CIC remains committed to providing Total Care education that has helped numerous students realize their dreams, providing parents with peace of mind.

Clement Chan encouraged the graduates to embrace global technological changes, including artificial intelligence, urging them to forge ahead and face future challenges with an optimistic attitude.

Awards and Scholarships

Since 2009, CIC Endowment Fund is proud to have distributed over half a million dollars to over 800 CIC students and graduates. Additionally, $81,000 has been allocated to local community organizations where students contributed their time as volunteers, supporting indigenous youth, families, and several charities. We express our gratitude to our generous individual and corporate donors, as well as alumni and parents, for their contributions to this fund.

Congratulations to the December 2023 graduates who have been awarded scholarships!

  • Principal’s Scholarship (University Pathway) of $1,500: Sihan Qin
  • Principal’s Scholarship (Community College Pathway) of $1,500: Ho Chun Cheng
  • Clement Chan Founders’ Merit Scholarship of $1,500: Abdoullah Asaadpour
  • Partner School Scholarship of $1,000: Paulina Perez Parra
  • Business Excellence Scholarship of $1,000: Sin Tsz Lam
  • Social Studies Excellence Scholarship of $1,000: Sin Tsz Lam
  • English Excellence Scholarship of $1,000: Shun Hang Yeung
  • Math Excellence Scholarship of $1,000: Yutong Han
  • Sciences Excellence Scholarship of $1,000: Zhekai Zhang
  • Fine Arts Excellence Scholarship of $1,000: Ho Tak Hui
  • Kevin Matthews Perseverance Scholarship of $750: Ho Tak Hui
  • Jim Lawlis Memorial Scholarship of $1,000: Shahrouz Karami Mofrad

Ways to Give to CIC Endowment Fund:

  • Make your online gift at and click on “Donate Now”
  • We accept payments via wire transfer or direct bank deposit. Please contact
  • For more information on the difference the foundation is making, visit

University Representatives Extend Warm Wishes

Honored guests from our esteemed University Partners graced the ceremony, extending their heartfelt best wishes to the graduates.

  • Ryrie Colin, Manager of Recruitment & Internal Operations, Brock University
  • Candy Hui, Senior Associate Registrar, Recruitment, McMaster University
  • Roger Ragoonath, Senior Student Recruitment Officer, Ontario Tech University
  • Ken Withers, Director, University Student Recruitment, University of Toronto
  • Mercier Felicia, Student Recruitment Officer, University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Danica (Xinya) Deng, International Recruitment Officer, Western University
  • Munro Tony, Manager, International Recruitment, Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment, University of Waterloo
  • Ting Li, Assistant Director of International Student Recruitment, York University

CIC’s University Partners designate admission staff who visit CIC, holding information sessions for our graduating students. They also work closely with our Guidance and University Placement Office on student applications and admissions.

University Partners offer exclusive admissions advantages to CIC graduates, including IELTS/TOEFL proficiency exemption and designated scholarships.

As a result of our long-term partnerships, the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and McMaster University accept more graduates from CIC than from any other school worldwide.

Congratulations to our December 2023 graduates! Graduation is an exciting time as it marks both an ending and a new beginning to your unfolding educational story. Today we celebrate your remarkable achievements together. We are proud of your efforts and your accomplishments.

We hope that the diverse experiences you have acquired at CIC will help you to continue to achieve success at university and beyond.

Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to keep in touch and share your success stories with us.

Leave a Reply