Congratulations to Diya Cyriac – a Grade 5 student at St. Mary Catholic Elementary School in Niagara Falls, a runner up in Habitat for Humanity’s third annual Meaning of Home writing contest.
More than 13,000 junior students (in Grades 4, 5, and 6) from across the country entered submissions. Three students won $30,000 donations to their local Habitat for Humanity, and another nine, including Diya, won a $10,000 grant for their local Habitat for Humanity.
Diya was born in Bahrain and came to Canada in December 2019. She was incredibly excited to come to Canada, especially to see snow for the first time. Diya is loving school in Canada and having the opportunity to participate in contests like the Meaning of Home contest run by Habitat for Humanity.
“You have to put effort into your own experiences,” she said. “It’s not just about telling your story about how big or small your house is but more about your family and your feelings within your home.”
She said placing a runner-up has inspired her to apply again next year, to hopefully bring the grand prize to Niagara.
“I want to try again next year because it gave me confidence to try again and helped others realize what home really means,” she said.
Niagara Habitat CEO Mark Carl had big praise for Diya.
“Having a safe, decent and affordable home to live in is the foundation for families to build a better life,” he said. “In reading Diya’s submission, she shares that home is a place where she feels safe and secure, and she mentions that home was a place where she spent most of her time during the COVID pandemic, which made her realize that a home is more than just four walls and one roof. It’s for reasons like that why we continue building and advocating for more affordable housing and homeownership in Niagara.”
Congratulations to Diya for her passion and creativity to help support Habitat for Humanity Niagara and others in her community.