Local Cegep announces bursaries for students in celebration of their resilience over the past year
On July 9, Heritage College Foundation announced that 100 Heritage College Students would receive bursaries valued between $300 to $1,000 in recognition of their resilience and perseverance in overcoming challenges due to the pandemic. "For the first time in Heritage College Foundation history, we have opened the eligibility to all students, as opposed solely to new or returning students.” the Foundation’s Vice-Chair Linton Garner said. With the help of the community and the Foundation’s partners, the initiative was able to raise enough money to expand the bursaries from 25 students to 100 students.
Distance learning and lockdowns created a challenging environment for all students. The Quebec Student Union is reporting that 52% of university students felt they needed mental health support during the pandemic. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations surveyed post-secondary students and found that 72% were worried about finding employment; 69% were worried about their finances; and 88% reported having to change how they fund their education.
These bursaries will relieve some of the financial pressure that students face and help them achieve their goals. Nursing student and bursary recipient, Emma Prickett from Aylmer, Gatineau said "I am grateful for the Heritage College Foundation. Being in a very competitive and difficult program, like our nursing program, it is difficult to work even part time to make sure that bills are paid. I never thought about quitting or giving up on my dreams. I continued to stay motivated with the help of the Heritage College Foundation."
Marc Fricker, a professor at the Cegep as well as Chair of the Foundation’s Funds & Bursaries Committee, further acknowledges the students’ experiences, "The purpose of perseverance bursaries is to encourage students to pursue their studies by recognizing exceptional efforts and rewarding student bursary applicants worthy of distinction. It helps to equalize the playing field, as not all students have the same responsibilities or the same challenges."
The Heritage College Foundation was created in 2013 and participates in fundraising activities to support their initiatives. The organization is key in supporting and celebrating students' success at the college. This is the Foundation's 5th initiative over the last 15 months. Cégep Heritage College is one of 48 CEGEPs (Collèges d'enseignement général et professionnel) in Quebec, and the only English one in the Western Quebec.