Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Welcome to the OISE Alumni and Friends website

A student's story

Once an at-risk student, now a Vari Scholar


"When I received the call that I had been awarded the University of Toronto Vari Scholarship that would pay for my entire university education, I broke down immediately and cried,” says student Dong-Ling Chen.

Chen dreamed of becoming a teacher after experiencing firsthand the positive impact teachers can make.

As an at-risk student, Dong-Ling was inspired by the kindness of a high school teacher who helped her towards a renewed path. Years later, with the support of the Vari Scholarship, established by The Honourable George and Helen Vari, Dong-Ling’s dream of becoming a teacher was realized when she graduated from OISE.

“Scholarships have the potential to change people’s lives and make dreams come true,” says Dong-Ling.

While a student at Victoria College and then at OISE, Dong-Ling gave back to the U of T community. She launched an education magazine, which continues to be published twice a year, and became president of the Student Teachers’ Union at OISE.

Dong-Ling plans to use her skills in teaching to work with at-risk students.