African studies grant offered to U of T students


A new grant will soon be awarded to students in Ontario pursuing a degree in African Studies, thanks to a $25,000 donation from  Isaac Jr. Olowolafe, a 26 year-old real-estate entrepreneur who graduated from UTM in economics. The Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS), a program of the Ontario government, has matched Olowalafe’s pledge for a total amount of $50,000.

The grant, called The Dream Maker Realty/Olowolafe Family Award, will be given to New College, a faculty of Arts and Sciences college at U of T .

The grant will then be awarded annually to a student who resides in Ontario and is in need of financial aid. In the case of The Dream Maker Realty Award, preference will be given to students pursuing either a specialist or major in African Studies.

Olowalafe, born in Nigeria, came to Canada at the age of four and grew up  in Woodbridge, Ontario. He works with his father, Isaac Olowalafe Sr., at Dream Maker Realty, a Toronto brokerage that specializes in services for first-time home buyers and investors.

In an interview with The Toronto Sun, Olowalafe said, “One of the mandates of Dream Makers is to give back to the community. I believe that a solid education empowers people to make good decisions in life and affect positive change for their families and community.”

“Having someone so young support us is very encouraging,” said U of T African Studies program director Thomas Kwasi Tieku in the same interview. “Isaac’s commitment also signifies the value he places on access to education.”

The Dream Maker Realty/Olowalafe Family Award is the largest grant available to students in African Studies at U of T. The UTM alumnus is one of the youngest to start an endowment fund of such magnitude.