Shelley's Adversity Scholarship

Her name is Shelley Upshaw, she was our Professor in the Community and Justice Services Program at Centennial College and she is dying of breast cancer… We want to build her legacy so that the impact she has had on so many students will always be honoured and remembered. Her teaching content taught us valuable life lessons that inspired us, reignited our hope, challenged our belief in our abilities and ultimately motivate us to take our life challenges and make a positive change that will influence our own lives and the lives of others.

Shelley was not afraid to share her story and the many challenges she has been confronted with in her lifetime and how she used them as stepping stones toward strength, success and change. Her passion for teaching danced around the room and we loved being with her as much as she loved being with us.

With broken hearts, we learned in 2015 that Shelley, for the second time in her life, was diagnosed with breast cancer. This time it is terminal as it has spread to her liver, lungs, bone, lymph nodes and recently we have learned has entered her brain. It is with honour that we (Shelley’s graduates) want to fulfill Shelley’s dream and help her leave her legacy beyond her life by continuing to honour and encourage those students to overcome their adversity and continue their education to make a difference, become role models and believe in themselves just as Shelley believed in them.

Please help us make Shelley’s legacy live beyond her life. She is one of those rare people you do not want to forget.

Thank you Shelley Upshaw for having such an inspiring and profound impact in our lives. You and your inspiring work with students will never be forgotten…

Our beloved Professor has provided a few words of thanks for this life-changing initiative:

"I am so blessed to have been able to wake up each day doing something I am so passionate about. My students have empowered and inspired me and to have my passion and belief in these remarkable lives continue through this scholarship is the greatest tribute one can receive. Thank you to my students and all of those who will sponsor this scholarship (my legacy) for inspiring me in my life and honouring and remembering me after my death. In the words of Corazon Aquino, "I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life".

The Shelley Upshaw Overcoming Adversity Scholarship will be managed and overseen by CJSP Graduates Michael Smith/Brandon Ramdial in collaboration with Centennial College's Office of Development and Alumni Engagement. The scholarship will be awared to a Community and Justice Services student who demonstrates exceptional leadership and interpersonal skills with students, Faculty and the community.

The first scholarship will be presented in March 2018 with the successful recipient receiving $1000 that can be used at the recipient's discretion. After that, the scholarship will be distributed annually at Centennial's Student Awards Night, an event celebrating student awards and achievement.

All proceeds will go towards scholarship sustainability for the next three years. Following that, Shelley's family and friends will resume annual fundraising. Thank you for your unconditional love and support as we celebrate and recognize Shelley's courage, inspiration and love for teaching.


  • Maria Garber 
    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Doug & Lin Munro 
    • $250 
    • 41 mos
  • Sherry Vriend 
    • $100 
    • 41 mos
  • A X 
    • $45 
    • 42 mos
  • Paul & Mary Burak & Family  
    • $150 
    • 42 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Brandon Mahadeo Ramdial 
Scarborough, ON
Lisa Nicholl 
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