GOA Vancouver presents scholarships, community service award to Goans



The Goan Overseas Association (GOA) Vancouver has awarded its scholarships to two youth and Community Service Award to a couple at its New Year’s eve Dinner-Dance event.


The 2024 Community Service Award recognises members from the Executive Committee for their significant contribution and commitment to the GOA Association.

GOA Vancouver President John Braganza said the Community Service Award was awarded to Philip and Caroline D'Sa for their exceptional commitment, dedication and a strong sense of community and other noteworthy endeavours.

Philip and Caroline D'Sa came to Canada on December 1, 1997, and have been actively involved with the GOA Association and the community at large. They are from Moira-Goa and cherish their rich Goan heritage.

“Philip was past Trustee on the Board and is known to work very very quietly behind the scenes. Caroline is known for her unwavering dedication to fostering youth talent, welcoming new immigrants, giving them guidance, counsel, direction, and providing crucial support during challenging times,” said Braganza.

Philip and Caroline D'Sa were awarded the Community Service Award.

“A noteworthy mention is Caroline's vigorous efforts in campaigning for a young girl in our community diagnosed with cancer. She campaigned and canvassed for this cause with compassion and rallied the support of the entire community. She coordinated with the community for rides for doctor visits, lab visits, ensured for healthy nutritious meals (while on treatment for chemo and post recovery) for the young girl.”

“Caroline has continually exhibited a great concern for the welfare and well-being of the youth in the community and provided mentorship and support especially for those from her native land and this has gained her the respect and admiration from the community. She has been a past president of the GOA Association,” Braganza added.


This is the second year the GOA Scholarship committee had met under the leadership of John Fernandes, Chair of the GOA Scholarship Committee. The other members of the team are Anita Irani, Owen Pereira and Sal Rocha.

Applicants to the GOA Vancouver scholarship needed to display a high all-round achievement in academics and community (including sports) involvement.

The GOA Vancouver Scholarship was awarded to Winona Rebello, who is currently pursuing business at Simon Fraser University. 

Winona Rebello was awarded the GOA Vancouver Scholarship.

She is dedicated to community outreach programmes that have a beneficial influence on her community. She takes an active role in the Goan community, celebrating traditions and fostering meaningful connections.

The Realtor Glen Scholarship was awarded to Kyle D’Souza.

Kyle has been passionate about music ever since he began at age 5. He is currently 16 and plays the piano, violin, trumpet, and double bass. Kyle is a leader in his various school ensembles and has helped his Church choir for many years. This award will go towards his piano exams and their corresponding course material.

Kyle D’Souza was awarded the Realtor Glen Scholarship.

Kyle’s parents Lorraine and Simon D’Souza expressed their gratitude to the GOA Vancouver and the Scholarship Committee for honouring Kyle's achievement in music.

They said it was a very joyous moment for the family and friends when Kyle was presented the scholarship and added that besides the financial aspect, it was wonderful to be recognised and acknowledged for all the hard work and contributing to the community.

They added that Kyle will use the scholarship amount for the Associate Diploma of The Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) exam.

Embracing my Goan identity is crucial: Winona

Expressing her delight on receiving the GOA Vancouver Scholarship, Winona Rebello said it seemed to be an acknowledgement of her effort and dedication to furthering her education.

“The financial support serves as a source of inspiration for me to keep achieving academic success,” Winona told The Goan.

Asked how this GOA Scholarship would motivate her, Winona replied: For me, the GOA Scholarship is a big incentive. I'm motivated to set higher standards and pursue greatness in my business degree by the knowledge that there is support for my education. It serves as a reminder that perseverance and hard work can result in worthwhile chances.”

Commenting on her future plans, Winona said her goal with her business major is to work in corporate settings and possibly, develop her own company in the future. 

“With the help of the scholarship, I will be able to concentrate on my academics and take advantage of networking and internship possibilities to get significant experience that will help me in my career,” she said.

To a query on her Goan identity, Winona said being Goan makes up a big portion of who she is.

“It moulds my viewpoint and ideals in addition to tying me to a rich cultural past. Maintaining a sense of community and tradition by embracing my Goan identity is crucial, and it can affect how I approach business and life in general. It gives my identity more depth and gives me a different perspective on the world,” Winona said.

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