Vernon students in programs from the arts and sciences to trades, business, and health were honoured at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus Thursday night.
A total of 63 scholarships and bursaries were handed out to 41 students totaling $45,750 in 2012.
“Each one of these students has made an outstanding contribution to their own future by applying themselves to their studies, and acting as a role model for others,” said North Okanagan Regional Dean Jane Lister.
Bachelor of Business Administration student Nicole Hamming, 19, was presented with two awards at the event – the Valley First Credit Union award and the Alf Peters Memorial Award.
“These awards – along with the ones I have received earlier – mean that I’ve been able to go to school without needing any student loans and that’s taken a load of stress off,” Hamming said.
Hamming graduated from Pleasant Valley Secondary School in Armstrong and is specializing in accounting with plans to become a Chartered Accountant.
“I’ve seen my friends try and do this while holding down crazy full-time jobs and it isn’t easy.”
The Awards Night also reflects the long-lasting relationships that have been built between the many donors in the region who recognize that assisting students helps build a strong community.
Over the years numerous organizations and individuals have established memorial awards, scholarships, and bursaries, including groups like the Rotary Club of Vernon, Valley First Credit Union, Vernon Women in Business, and the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan.
“These partnerships have a lasting legacy, and donors get to see the impact their contribution makes every year when they take part in this Awards Night,” said Kathy Butler, executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation.
This year also marked the first time a student received the new Greg Schroeder Memorial Award, established by the Vernon and District Community Land Trust for a Vernon trades student actively involved in the community and experiencing financial need.
So far this year 281 Okanagan College students have been recognized with awards at ceremonies held at each of the campuses for a total of 360 awards worth $324,420.
These four campus events represent a portion of the awards granted each year to deserving Okanagan College students. Last year the Okanagan College Foundation gave out just over $700,000 in scholarships and bursaries.
The Okanagan College Foundation was established in 2000 to assist Okanagan College in building endowments and other strategic priorities, including raising awareness about the economic and social benefits of Okanagan College.