Events & Contests, RU Money-Smart

#RUMoneySmart $1,000 Contest Submissions

With their permission, see what some of our entrants for the RBC #RUMoneySmart $1,000 Contest are dreaming of doing for 2016. Remember, the deadline to enter is February 8th, 2016 at 11:59PM. Find more details on how to win, here.

Camille Santos

“My new years resolution was to save more! I just got an early acceptance to Teacher’s College and though it’s quite exciting, the tuition and cost of living next year is daunting! My goal is to raise 15K by September to cover it all. I already have a mutual funds and savings account but I want to keep building on it so I don’t accumulate any student debt. RU can you help me stay Money Smart so I can pursue my dream career!?” – Camille Santos


Erin Guerette

“Living away from home is expensive. Rent on its own is a huge cost, not to mention tuition, books and groceries! The $1000 Pre­Paid Visa would help alleviate my financial stress for 2016 and give me the flexibility to put a bit of money away for grad school! I want to do my Masters in New Zealand, and my resolution is to save at least $2000 this year for grad school. This $1000 would definitely put a dent in that. Fingers crossed that you choose me!” – Erin Guerette

Kelly Chau

“”Why not?” First off I would just like to say thank you for offering this giveaway, I’m sure everyone who 2016 is the year for me to venture out of my comfort zone and ask myself “why not” to unorthodox activities and ways of thinking and adventures such as spontaneous trips around the world. Volunteering in Cambodia is for sure going to be one of them! This wonderful giveaway of $1000 will financially stable me to fulfill my year’s goal and applied appreciates it beyond belief.” – Kelly Chau

Joanna Lupker

“I’m a fashion major here at Ryerson and this year my resolution is to spend the summer doing what I love ­­creating. I would use the money to buy materials to start my own fashion business. With this money I’d be able to see my designs come to life and would be sure their emergence was ethical, unlike so many fashion businesses today. My ultimate resolution is to make the world more beautiful with both aesthetically pleasing designs and the morally sound production process of them.” – Joanna Lupker


Justine Erdelyi

“Hey there! Here is what I would do with 1000$ towards my new years resolution: My resolution is to become healthier (mentally & physically). I know, typical answer, but I want to accomplish this because the past year has been… Difficult to say the least, on my emotional/ mental and physical self! That money would be put towards healthy and fresh groceries, (because we all know those can easily up the bill). Also a fitness class once or twice a week to help deal with stress and help myself feel stronger! To be the recipient of this money would mean the world help towards building myself stronger. Thanks for the consideration!” – Justine Erdelyi

Allana Arundell

“I am in the process of starting an organization that travels to countries to teach youth the game of basketball, but at the same time using basketball to teach these youth life skills, such as; self-care, dedication, discipline, and respect. I would also like to develop these youth into great athletes and allow their athletic ability to take them to bigger places; education, and successful futures. Additionally this organization would also serve at risk youth in the criminal justice system that continue to re-offend. Through programming and an encouraging/supportive approach I hope to reduce the recidivism rates of Ontario.” – Allana Arundell

Cassandra Vuylsteke

“I believe that $1000 dollars would allow me to not only enhance my global perspective on education but also benefit me as a future teacher. I have been granted early acceptance to the University of Western Ont. teachers education program. My volunteer experience last summer in Bali, Indonesia working with children provided me with insight into respect for cultures, religions and traditions. I believe these are important attributes for a teacher in today’s classroom. This money would allow for me to continue to volunteer my time and enhance my academic studies. Thank you for considering my application.” – Cassandra Vuylsteke


Cristina Cappucci

“Hi my name is Cristina Cappucci and I am interested in the $1000 contest. Below is my 100 word entry. Thank you for your consideration. 2016 is my year for IOU’s. Throughout my 5 years of university, I have been privileged for my parents to pay for my tuition. As I am graduating in April, I aim to begin paying back my parents the thousands of dollars they’ve spent. My parents believe that they need to take care of me and give me what is best, even if they don’t have the funds. I plan to continue schooling as I have applied to 5 programs, 2 masters and 3 dietetic internships. This $1000 will allow me to slowly replenish my parents’ bank accounts.” – Cristina Cappucci

Danielle Gonsalves

“Hello! My Name is Danielle Gonsalves and I’m finishing up my last year at Ryerson in the Child and Youth Care Program. My current part time job is working at Geneva Centre for Autism where I work with wonderful children and youth diagnosed with Autism. I truly have a passion for working with children and youth in need as well as to travel the world. In the past couple of years, I’ve spent a chunk of summers traveling and volunteering to work with children with special needs and disabilities in various places. My most recent destinations have been Costa Rica, Bali and Thailand. The reason I believe that this money would be beneficial to me is because not only would it help me be able to pursue my passion to travel and volunteer to more countries in need but it would also help others around the world who desire nothing but love and support. My goal in 2016 is to reach out to those in need while gaining valuable life lessons myself while exploring and traveling around. This money would make a huge difference in my life and help me able to comfortably plan for those in need! Thanks so much.” – Danielle Gonsalves

Eric Punzo

“As a full-time student and a part-time worker, I endure the ongoing difficult task of maintaining stable financial status. Between tuition fees and textbook prices alone, there remains very minimal space for money to be saved. This means that I am limited from doing things that I wish to do, such as taking a vacation, treating my mother to an elegant dinner, or even working on my homemade time travel machine. I realize that these personal wants are luxuries, just as education is, but I do firmly believe that maintaining personal satisfaction and relieving stress is a fundamental aspect of good overall health. Although $1000 may not seem like a lot of money, to a worker and student like myself, I view this money as a grand opportunity.” – Eric Punzo


Ewan Matthews

“Hey RBC and RU Student Life! If I had $1000 I would definitely be able to work on one of my resolutions for 2016: eat healthier!
I’m guilty of eating a lot of cheap, junk food that is far from nutritious but gets me through the day. On the other hand, sometimes I really don’t feel like spending money on groceries so I eat less than I should… With a thousand bucks I could eat healthier for months and months. Maybe buy some clementines? I love clementines.Thanks for this opportunity!” – Ewan Matthews

Holly Blair

“$1000 would go directly towards a trip I am taking to volunteer for 2 months at an elephant sanctuary and wildlife rehabilitation center this summer in Thailand.
I’ll be caring for the animals, helping in rescue/rehabilitation efforts and using design/photography skills learned at Ryerson to aid with getting their message heard around the world. The center pairs with other charitable organizations which I hope to continue to work with as a career which is why this trip is so important to me. It is the beginning of a journey of dedicating my life and learned skills to assisting in the well being and conservation of animals and their habitats. I am currently fundraising and working 2 jobs for this opportunity but $1000 would be an incredible boost ​and go directly towards the experience. Below in my signature is the link to my fundraising account and more information about the experience and organizations. ​THANK YOU!!!!” – Holly Blair

Jennifer Bonnell

“HEY RU STUDENT LIFE! I’m Jennifer Bonnell, a third year Fashion student. When I think about first arriving here from Newfoundland in 2013, I have learned so much- and I still have a long way to go. Managing a new city, school, job and internship all at the same time can be very trying. I’m working through third year, starting my own brand, and even on days when I don’t feel like getting up- I drag myself out of bed, chug a coffee, and get down to business. My motivation is my future and 1000 dollars could really help me get there!” – Jennifer Bonnell


Jennifer Elliot

“I would use $1000 to travel to the Mecca for English literature – London, England. It’s my dream of a lifetime to immerse myself in the historic city that was home to so many inspirational writers. I’m currently working on a written adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and the British Library has amazing materials like Lewis Carroll’s diaries and the original manuscript. There’s an Alice in Wonderland exhibit currently going on at the library that celebrates 150 years of Alice in Wonderland-inspired work. It endsApril 17th and if I won this contest I would love to see that in time!” – Jennifer Elliot

Jun He

“Hi, 2016 is the year of self improvement. One of my goals is to get bigger stronger. I’ve never been truly happy with my body; I’ve always been very skinny, and bodybuilding has never been on my mind. Now, I realize that it’s up to myself to change and sculpt my body the way that makes me happy. I’ve been consistently going to the gym and I’ve never been happier. $1000 would help pay for the protein powder and get additional gym gear. It would go a long way to help me achieve my goal. I’ll never stop working on myself.” – Jun He

Keisha Martin

I am
Mother of two
Working full time
The Ryerson CYC program is my passion; I enjoy helping children and youth
My adoration for writing fiction
Writing takes time, especially at my local library
My very own laptop will make things easier in school
As I cite articles and in my down time
Creating fantastic characters, who knows, maybe one day I may see my name on a book until
then its fun to dream
I have written by hand six books and would love to finally edit one and send it off to agents and
cross my fingers/toes


Kelsey Canning

“Hey RU Student Life, my name is Kelsey and I would love to win the $1000! I am a first year RTA: Media production student and with your help I’d love to purchase new camera equipment to start building my portfolio. I want to travel this summer, and to be able to document my backpacking trip would mean the world to me. As I am constantly working on assignments, running a Spirit Live radio show, and making short films I barely have enough time to work my part-time job so I’d love to be considered! Thanks for hearing me out!!” – Kelsey Canning

Lama Ghazzo

“Being a CYC student at RU, it’s no surprise that my new year’s resolution is to help more people! If I won the $1000 visa card, I would definitely spend it on clothes, food, and other necessities for either Syrian refugees, or homeless youth in Toronto. As much as I would love to go shopping with the $1000, I think it would really benefit my goal for this year. Thanks for listening :)” – Lama Ghazzo


“$1000 would help me as a student immensely, I would finally be able to purchase the required textbooks for my open book exams. I won’t have to beg my friends to borrow their textbook to do my 2% assignments. I won’t have to peruse eBay for some kind soul to leave a textbook up to bidding so I can snipe the highest bid at the last second. (Why do they always have to end at 4 AM?) Finally, I’ll be able to buy name brand ramen instead of whatever tasteless flavor is on sale this week.” – Mackenzie


Matthew Lahey

“I am in my first year in the Nutrition and Food Undergrad. Previously I completely a Culinary Management Degree at George Brown and have been working as a cook until I arrived at Ryerson. In my second year, (Fall 2016), I would like to use my previous experience to start some bi-monthly cooking classes to show my fellow Nutrition students some basic concepts of cooking. They could leave school, and enter into our communities with some cool culinary tricks and skills which they could in turn teach to the public or clients. $1000 would help buy the food!” – Matthew Lahey


“My name is Melissa Iazzi. I am a third year student in the Biology Cooperative Program. My goals for this year are to finish the MCAT Course/write the exam, begin my project thesis at UHN in affiliation with Ryerson and begin my med school applications for early admission. Once my younger sister passed from Ewing’s sarcoma, I have been nothing but passionate about cancer research – I have dedicated much of my time towards it already. My goal is to work towards my doctorate in oncology. The $1000 Visa Gift Card would help me with my dream of med school by helping bring down the extensive costs. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you can help me reach my goals of 2016!” – Melissa

Mike Vipond

“Here I am – my final semester at Ryerson. I spent my time as an undergrad working several jobs – part-time and full-time – but my biggest passion has always been music. Before I officially “grow up,” I want to take some time this summer to travel the Southern US as a busking musician. From New York City to Nashville, New Orleans to Austin, I plan to experience some of the best music cities in the States. This $1000 would go a long way to helping with travel expenses while I experience my dream of being a traveler; a troubadour; an adventurist.” – Mike Vipond


Stephanie Ta

“1000 dollars doesn’t go far for many but for a student that is paying off debt and loans its plenty. If I won a 1000 dollars I wouldn’t apply to it my tuition, much to my parent’s disapproval, but for once live in the moment. I’d buy a ticket to somewhere warm for reading week, and fall asleep under the sun (with sunscreen of course!). I’d forget about the stress and just enjoy the money, they say life is a balance of work and play and I hope one day I’d get to experience that. My New Years resolution is to find balance.” – Stephanie Ta

Tara Upshaw

“Last semester, I founded a student group for undergraduate women and marginalized individuals in the Faculty of Science. Undergraduate Women in Science at Ryerson (UWiSR) is dedicated to providing personal and professional development resources, community connections, mentorship, and education and advocacy for Faculty of Science individuals who need support developing their voice. We have over 30 students on our executive! I would use the RBC $1000 Visa to purchase a vertical banner for UWiSR to bring to our events, and reserve the rest for seed funding, of which we currently have none.” – Tara Upshaw


Abdullah Qadir

“One of my main goals for 2016 is to be more charitable. One main issue that is plaguing society is homelessness. The $1000 given to me would be used towards the research and development of creating a permanent facility where homeless people could access, free of charge. A clean shave, shower, fresh clothes, feminine hygiene products, opportunities to reintegrate back into society by looking for work or education, would be some of the services offered. Volunteers would largely manage it and each individual would contribute back to it once they got on the ability to provide for themselves.” – Abdullah Qadir

Angela D’Orazio

“Hello RU Student Life, and thank you for this opportunity! I am a 26-year old student living away from home in my first year of the Psychology program here at Ryerson. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to finish university the first time around as I decided to chase my dreams, move to Germany and go to university with no support given from my parents. Studying engineering in a foreign country while working three part-time jobs for two years, I learned first-hand how financial worries literally make it impossible to focus on studying, despite my greatest efforts. I am back in Canada now and an extra $1000 would help me with my 2016 resolution to forgive myself, regain confidence and mental health, and to focus 100% on my new program without worrying so much about money.” – Angela D’Orazio


Alexis Domagas

“A course in interior design has always been a passion for me. However, it requires a rather considerable sum of money to pursue. A thousand dollar visa card will certainly be a vital factor if not the only necessary bridge for me to turn my passion into a reality. Dreams are realized through hard work, perseverance and of course, financial assistance. I already possess the first two critical skills mentioned, my dream is just a step closer to its fulfillment through your benevolence. And through your benevolence can it only come to fruition. :)” – Alexis Domagas

Bianca Caldas

“I am writing this entry in order to apply for the $1000 give away from RBC, and the reason for that is because my new years resolution was to go on an exchange program in the summer, and although I was invited by the director of the school of Child and Youth Care to join one in Germany this April I still don’t have the financial capability to join as it is a total cost of $5000, which includes flight, accommodation and food there.This program is amazing because I will not only be taking 4 university courses on social development but I also be giving back to the community in Trier, Germany and will be bringing resources back to Ryerson upon my return. Right now I am taking 5 classes, my internship, and I have 2 part time jobs, and this $1000 would help me tremendously as it would give me a higher chance to participate in the program and allow me to focus more on school and less on getting money for the trip. Thank you so much.” – Bianca Caldas

Cassandra Vuylsteke

“I believe that $1000 dollars would allow me to not only enhance my global perspective on education but also benefit me as a future teacher. I have been granted early acceptance to the University of Western Ont. teachers education program. My volunteer experience last summer in Bali, Indonesia working with children provided me with insight into respect for cultures, religions and traditions. I believe these are important attributes for a teacher in today’s classroom. This money would allow for me to continue to volunteer my time and enhance my academic studies. Thank you for considering my application.” – Cassandra Vuylsteke


Cristian Nuosci

“I’m studying Electrical Engineering, First Year Undergraduate here at Ryerson. In my home, I’ve been meaning to replace the computer that we have because it is several years old. A new one would fit nicely! With the $1000, I’d be able to buy parts for a new system and configure the computer the way I’d like! Also, I’d purchase a drone that I would be able to build myself and configure the wiring myself. It would be great practice since I’m getting into the Electrical Engineering industry and it would allow me to test the theory I’ve learned in ELE-202! Thanks for reading!” – Cristian Nuosci

Cristina Cappucci

“2016 is my year for IOU’s. Throughout my 5 years of university, I have been privileged for my parents to pay for my tuition. As I am graduating in April, I aim to begin paying back my parents the thousands of dollars they’ve spent. My parents believe that they need to take care of me and give me what is best, even if they don’t have the funds. I plan to continue schooling as I have applied to 5 programs, 2 masters and 3 dietetic internships. This $1000 will allow me to slowly replenish my parents’ bank accounts.” – Cristina Cappucci

Diana Duong

“My goal for 2016 is saving, spending smarter and supporting my family financially. A $1000 Visa gift would help me reach my goals as it would be less of a burden for me to pay my tuition and textbooks. It would also be a great help to my family and I, so that we could buy groceries without having to worrying about our budget. Thank you!” – Diana Duong


Hao Chen

“$1000 means a lot for me as a Ryerson Interior Design student. In this semester, I have tons of projects that require to purchase art supplies and materials in order to build prototypes and actual models of my design. Moreover, I want to buy the AutoCad software, this software means everything to me as a RSID student and it definitely helps me in my future career as well. Thank you for considering my entry for this fantastic contest.” – Hao Chen

Isadora Batista

“SCHOOL IS SO EXPENSIVE! While our good looking PM is still figuring out how to make it cheaper, YOU can help a very cheerful Brazilian young lady to pay her 6,700 dollars a year (ouch!) tuition. With this beautiful gesture, you will be allowing me to worry a lot less about how I am going to pay for the coming semester.That would be just G R E A T! Having a 1,000 dollars bonus in my Ryerson account would allow me to work fewer hours and give me more time to do my readings and get some great sleep!zzzz Cheers and good luck for me!” – Isadora Batista


Jake Nothdurft

“”My name is Jake and I am currently in my fourth year of the RTA School of Media and completing my thesis project. It has been an incredible project to work on, but I have unfortunately not been able to work very much this school year due to the demands of the project. As it is a multifaceted project consisting of a forty minute film, soundtrack, interview series and large web component, it has been a very busy year. Following the completion of this project, I am thrilled to be completing my internship for school in Los Angeles this coming March! I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with this experience. As I prepare for LA, I do realize that my financial burden is a lot to deal with at the moment. I know that this prepaid Visa would be an enormous help in the expenses I have here in Toronto so I can save as much as I can before leaving for Los Angeles. As a loyal customer of RBC, I know they have an amazing commitment to helping students and this prepaid Visa would help a young media student fulfil his dreams on the west coast!” – Jake Nothdurft

Jessica Scarpelli

“Hello, my name is Jessica Scarpelli and I’m a 26 year old interior design student at Ryerson. I am in school full-time and work almost full time to pay for my rent and expenses. $1000 would help me to buy the materials that I need for my furniture design class, as well as to finish my prototype professionally. Work less, focus on school is a resolution that I can only achieve with this money!” – Jessica Scarpelli

Justine Lee

“My name is Justine and my goal for 2016 is to participate in my program’s international placement for teaching during the summer. With $1000, it will pay for a lot of my expenses and will allow me to have the freedom of going without being stressed about financial issues and using my OSAP money to pay for this opportunity.” – Justine Lee


Karen Benitez

“For the past six years I have volunteered with some friends to create at our church what is known as “SundaySchool”(a type of Early Learning Program). I have used all of the knowledge I have gained from Ryerson’s ECS Program and applied it there. Currently we have some incredible children’s rooms where children are learning and growing in a nurturing and stimulating environment. This year, I have made it my goal to volunteer in El Salvador. I personally know children that would benefit from a “Sunday School”. $1000 would certainly help me reach this goal.” – Karen Benitez


These are just a few of the submissions we’ve received so far, and we’re still waiting for more! 
Learn more about how to enter to win $1,000 from RBC and RU Student Life!

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