The inaugural Omnitracs Mike Ham Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Virag Takacs, a resident of Toronto, Ontario who is currently enrolled in her first year at the University of Toronto where she is studying for a degree in journalism. Varag’s application was sponsored by Carmen Transportation, where her father works as a company driver.
“For a long time, Virag was unsure about where she should focus her studies after secondary school. After having taken as many courses as she could “from the sciences to the arts and everything in between”, Virag realized that writing needed to be a big part of her future. “It’s almost ironic” writes Virag in her application. “When my family came to Canada, I barely knew English, and now I plan to make writing my career”.
Omnitracs partnered with the OTA Education Foundation to honour the life and legacy of Mike Ham, who passed away in 2020. As a testament to the respect that Mike earned from customers and colleagues alike, the scholarship endowment was supplemented by several close industry friends.
“I have no doubt that Mike would be thrilled to know that his legacy lives on through post-secondary education opportunities for young people”, says Norm Sneyd, formerly of Bison Transport and a friend of Mike’s family. “On behalf of Omnitracs, Mike’s family and the many friends that Mike left behind, I would like to extend our collective congratulations to Virag for being tapped as the first recipient of the Omnitracs Mike Ham Memorial scholarship”.
The annual scholarship is administered the OTA Education Foundation and follows criteria established in consultation with Mike’s colleagues, friends, and family. To be eligible, students must be entering their first year of studies at a public Canadian college or university, and be enrolled in a full-time Transportation, Logistics, Business, Technology, Human Resources, or Communications program. The applicant must also be the son or a daughter of a parent who works in the Canadian trucking industry.
The OTA Education Foundation’s Endowed Scholarship program is funded entirely be one-time contributions by the organizations for which the scholarships are named. The eligibility and assessment criteria are determined jointly between the endowed fund contributions and the Foundation, who also administers the scholarship program.