My name is Noah Irvine, and I am a fourth-year political science student.
My story begins with heartbreak and trauma. I was five years old when I lost my mother to suicide and 15 years old when my father died of an accidental drug overdose.
Today, I am privileged to introduce myself as a 23-year-old Gryphon, an author, and a proud Summerlee Humanitarian Scholar!
I have been active in mental health advocacy since I was seventeen years old. I have written to every territorial and provincial government, including Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal family. I have spoken to federal cabinet ministers, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the Prime Minister and I have met with members of the Alberta government and the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. All my efforts are focused on improving Canada’s mental health system and advocating for the creation of a federal ministry of mental health and addictions. I am proud to say that Carolyn Bennett was named Canada’s Minister for Mental Health and Addiction by Prime Minister Trudeau in 2022!
My goal has always been to improve the lives of individuals who struggle, as my mother and father struggled. With that sense of purpose, I also made it my mission to share the unfiltered truth of my story and fulfil my personal commitment to my mum and dad so that their stories will not be forgotten.
To that end, I wrote ‘Learning to Live: From the Loss of My Parents to Mental Health Advocate’, a book that chronicles my life without my parents; detailing childhood abuse, the reality of great loss, and what my learning disability has meant in the pursuit of an education. My book’s proceeds are creating a scholarship in the name of my parents, Lesley and Kent Martin, to be awarded to students at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute who have lost a parent and aspire to enter post-secondary education.
The Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship represents validation of my hard work. Your amazing contributions are inspiring, and you make it possible to push forward, not only by providing important resources, but by re-igniting the passion that drives us and encouraging perseverance on a path that isn’t always easy.
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