Mayor Jim Watson and Innes Ward Councillor Jody Mitic presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Divya Massilamani at today’s City Council meeting.

Ms. Massilamani is currently a third-year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Ottawa. She has known for most of her life that she wants to be a physician, but her volunteer work with children at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in the Oncology and Hematology department since 2011 has inspired her to work towards becoming a pediatrician specializing in oncology.

Her wide-ranging volunteer work includes:

  • Assisting residents of the Leisureworld Caregiving Centre Madonna long-term care community in Orléans with activities, meals and transportation
  • Helping young patients in the Oncology and Hematology unit at CHEO
  • Helping children with special needs at the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre preschool and summer school programs
  • Offering her help as an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor to students at Carine Wilson Secondary School through the Literacy Partners program, specifically helping high-school students to prepare for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, a requirement for graduation
  • At UOttawa, working as the treasurer of the World Vision Club and the treasurer/secretary of The Abhiladasha Project, both non-profit associations that help families and children. World Vision battles poverty, while the Abhiladasha Project helps provide education to children with special needs. She also volunteers at the Piano Pedagogy Research Laboratory.

She has received many awards for her hard work, dedication and hundreds of hours of volunteering. Notably, last year she received the United Way Community Builder Award for her work with older adults at the Leisureworld Caregiving Centre Madonna, and her name has recently been added to the United Way Wall of Inspiration at City Hall. She also received the 2015 Hospital Auxiliary Association of Ontario Student Award for her service at CHEO.