Grade 12 students across rural Ontario have graduated without the usual pomp and celebration thanks to COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean they learned less, and in some cases, they have very important new lessons to share.

That’s the premise behind a new Student Award program that will gift 100 individual awards of $1,000 to local grade 12 graduating students who are going on to any form of post-secondary education: college, trade school or university.
The ‘Lockdown Awards’ are sponsored by Ontario’s Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group based in Lindsay Ontario with local broker representation in most smaller communities across the province. Grade 12 graduating students can apply to earn their $1,000 Lockdown Award simply by visiting and sharing a video about what they learned. Videos from local students will be posted and shared publicly. Award winners will be announced August 4, 2020.

“Slowed by labour action and then upturned by the pandemic and social distancing, this graduating class
is unique in the history of Ontario high school education,” said Commonwell CEO, Tim Shauf. “The Commonwell contributes to growing community resiliency and this group has proven worthy; we thought a grant program that made their tuition more affordable was a way to thank this graduating class, their parents and their communities. It’s also a great way to share real stories from the pandemic – some funny, some bitter-sweet and some life-changing,” added Shauf.