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TORONOTO — Just days after his yearbook caption dedicated to his late grandmother was replaced with a racist message, Joshua Telemaque celebrated his 18th birthday on his driveway in Pickering, Ont.
Telemaque had an outpouring of support in the days following the incident, including many driving by his house in a parade on Wednesday and a video full of Toronto’s top broadcasters, athletes and more sending well wishes.
But the biggest gift of all came from the Pinball Clemons Foundation and Toronto Argonauts, who awarded the teen a full four-year scholarship to any Canadian university of his choice.
“Speechless,” he said to reporters after Toronto Argonauts’ Mike Hogan delivered the news. “It’s so amazing. I’m so appreciative and grateful for this. It just touched my heart.”
“2020 has been a crazy year!,” the Pinball Clemons Foundation said in an Instagram post. “We all needed to be served some positivity. Thank you to Joshua’s family and everyone who made this day possible. We’re honoured to be a part of this. Pinball and our team will be forever inspired by Joshua’s courage and kindness. This doesn’t end here – we’re excited to stay on this journey for him. Your community is behind you young man.”
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2020 has been a crazy year! We all needed to be served some positivity. Thank you to Joshua’s family and everyone who made this day possible. We’re honoured to be a part of this. Pinball and our team will be forever inspired by Joshua’s courage and kindness. This doesn’t end here – we’re excited to stay on this journey with him. Your community is behind you young man. 🙏💙 Reposted from @strizzzyeverywhere @pinballfoundation @torontoargos Just pulled up to #JoshuaTelemaque house & offered him a FULL scholarship to a Canadian university/college of his choice! #LoveOverHate Me @missjemeni Talking to Josh and mom @g987fm In the morning!! (Someone put away those DAMN onions 😫) #FightBackForJT #community #giveback
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Your Argos family has your back, Joshua 💙 https://t.co/dutP3pzsI2
— Toronto Argonauts (@TorontoArgos) October 14, 2020