Three South Okanagan students get much needed help with tuition through generous scholarship award

Scholarships especially key

Three South Okanagan students have been honoured with generous scholarships toward their first years at Okanagan College through the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship, especially welcome during the difficult financial times of the ongoing pandemic. 

Isaac Halverson, a graduate of Princess Margaret Secondary, screamed with excitement when he got the news that he had received $2,500 for his schooling. 

"It was incredible. I’ve heard about the award before, and I know friends who’ve received it,” Halverson said, who is in first year engineering. 

"It's a lot of money, and it means a lot to me." 

The annual awards go to high school students who demonstrate good grades while contributing to their community. 

Paige Russill and Verity Taylor, both of Summerland Secondary and both now studying for an associate of arts degree, also received the scholarship. 

"I really appreciate being chosen for such a prestigious award and I’m thankful for it,” said Taylor. “It’s being put to good use to better my future.”

Russill said COVID-19 cut in to her ability to work this year, so the scholarship will help fill that loss of income that will go to her education. 

Since 2006, Rick and Yasmin Thorpe, along with their friends, have helped more than 70 students, donating $153,500 to their studies at Okanagan College.

“This year with the COVID-19 pandemic, these awards are even more necessary for students who are probably not going to their jobs,” said Yasmin. “The help we give to students makes me feel so good.”

The Okanagan College Foundation recently recognized the Thorpes' support with a commemorative booklet featuring students who have received scholarships in the past. 

"Thank you for being an integral part of Okanagan College’s mission to transform lives and communities,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton and Okanagan College Foundation executive director Helen Jackman in a joint statement. 

"Students describe your support as pivotal, providing monetary relief but also serving as a source of inspiration and strength. Your award and the recognition that comes with it, helps instil a belief in students that they can achieve great things. Your generous commitment to our students is deeply appreciated.”

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