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Two Manitoba students win $20,000 grant for Habitat for Humanity Manitoba


Tiana Sanko
Cortez Rivera

The Meaning of Home is a national writing contest in support of Habitat for Humanity Canada that asks students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 to share what home means to them. Over 10,200 students entered this year’s contest, which set a new record.

Two local students have helped win $20,000 for Habitat for Humanity Manitoba. Grade 4 runner up Tiana Sanko from Gilbert Plains joins Grade 5 runner up Cortez Rivera from Headingley in each winning a $10,000 grant that will go towards building decent and affordable homes. Tiana’s grant will be directed to the Dauphin chapter and Cortez’s grant will be directed to the Winnipeg projects.

“We have had incredible engagement from the entire Province of Manitoba. We are thrilled to have two winners again this year. This is the third year we have had a winner from this national contest. Building our future philanthropists through this contest is extremely valuable to the future of charity,” said Sandy Hopkins, CEO, Habitat for Humanity Manitoba.

There are three grand prizewinners, one from each grade, who have won a $30,000 grant towards a local Habitat for Humanity build. Nine runners up have won a $10,000 grant towards their local Habitat. Each student entry also earned a $10 donation for their local Habitat. During a time when many local Habitats are struggling with the financial impact from COVID-19 on their operations, this contest helped raise over $280,000. The Manitoba affiliate, which includes Kenora and Dryden, Ontario, produced 2,020 entries for this contest – the largest number of entries in all of Canada. These much-needed funds will go towards building houses for families in need of a safe and secure place to call home.

The Meaning of Home contest would not be possible without the generous support of founding sponsor, Genworth Canada.

“I’d like to congratulate each of the contest winners and thank all the students who submitted entries on what home means to them. Since 2007, the Meaning of Home contest has been empowering youth to become engaged and compassionate members of the community while educating them on the importance of affordable housing. We’re proud to be a founding sponsor of this initiative,” said Stuart Levings, President and CEO, Genworth Canada.

In addition to the support of founding sponsor Genworth Canada, the Meaning of Home contest would not have been possible without the support of awards sponsor, Revera Inc. and judging sponsor, The Silver Hotel Group.

For a complete list of winners and to read the winning entries, please visit