Selkirk College officially kicked off its 50th Anniversary celebration at the 2016 Bursary Tea in Nelson with sights set on helping students achieve success into the next half century.
The annual Bursary Tea took place at the end of January and brought together students, donors and staff for an afternoon of acknowledging the importance of working together to build a strong foundation of learning. As part of marking the college’s 50 years of post-secondary education in the West Kootenay-Boundary, the 50th Anniversary Student Legacy Award was launched with a goal of raising $50,000 in the coming months for scholarships and bursaries.
Selkirk College kicked off its 50th Anniversary celebrations at the 2016 Bursary Tea at Nelson’s Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. Over the next 14 months, the college will be marking five decades of learning in the communities throughout the West Kootenay-Boundary. Students, donors and staff were brought together to launch the 50th which includes raising money for the Selkirk College 50th Anniversary Student Legacy Award.
“This fundraising effort will provide vital financial aid for future generations of students as we move into our next 50 years,” says Selkirk College Donor Relations Coordinator Joleen Kinakin. “We hope the community will get behind this effort to leave an important gift behind for the students to enrich their lives through education at Selkirk College.”
Seed funding of $10,000 was provided to the fund with money that was raised at the Selkirk College Gala 2015 that was held in November.
At the Bursary Tea at Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus, more than 250 students, donors and staff came out to enjoy the afternoon that featured food prepared by the Professional Cook Program students and served by the Resort & Hotel Management Program students. More than $138,000 in bursaries was given out to students who qualify for financial support based on need. Even more was awarded in the form of scholarships and entrance awards.
The Reason for Giving
Each year, a student speaks on behalf of their fellow bursary winners. This year, Associate of Science Program student Nicole Laface provided an emotional address where she thanked donors for helping make the journey through her education easier.
The 30-year-old is a single mother of two young children and returned to college in September to pursue a degree in the Selkirk College Nursing Program.
Selkirk College student Nicole Laface spoke on behalf of the award winners at the 2016 Bursary Tea. A single mother with two young children, the Trail resident returned to college in September to pursue a degree in the Nursing Program which is based on the Castlegar Campus.
“I decided that I wasn’t able to afford my children on my own, so I decided to go back to school to get more skills,” says Laface, who is currently taking her first and fourth year options in preparation for starting the four-year Nursing Program.
Prior to returning school, Laface was a unit clerk at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail where she worked for 10 years.
“It’s a huge step and very nerve wracking. It took so much structure out of my life, I literally had an emotional breakdown wondering if I was doing the right thing,” she says. “I gave up everything and have no security, but I’ve found it so challenging and enlightening. It will be beneficial when I’m done.”
Laface grew up in Trail and graduated from J.L. Crowe Secondary. When she was 18, she enrolled in the Selkirk College Hairdressing Program and shortly after that decided to take the Unit Clerk Program. At the Bursary Tea, Laface received a number of bursaries for her current pursuit.
“It’s very emotional for me to get these bursaries,” she says. “I never imagined a school could be so caring to their students, it’s like a loving family. When they tell you that there are these donors that want to help through your life in school… it’s so touching. I want to be able to do that for somebody else when I am done my career, to donate money or anything to just let somebody else know they are appreciated and that they are capable. The support is overwhelming.”
An Important Element of Post-Secondary
Laface is just one of 126 students who received financial assistance through a bursary during this school year. The goal is to ease the stress and burden so students can concentrate on their education and training.
“We are very fortunate to have so many individuals, businesses and organizations who contribute to our bursaries and scholarships,” says Kinakin. “We believe the students who receive these awards will pay it forward through the contributions they will make to their own communities once they get the education and skills they need to succeed.”
If you are interested in making a contribution to the Selkirk College 50th Anniversary Student Legacy Awardor have any questions about scholarships and bursaries please contact Joleen Kinakin at 250.365.1360 or by email.