Campus Life  

Thorpe and Friends Scholarship recognizes three South Okanagan students

Thorpe Awards 2020_3

Isaac Halverson was visiting a friend when he learned he was a recipient of this year’s Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship Fund, but this did not stop him from running around the house screaming in excitement after reading the news.

“It was incredible. I’ve heard about the award before, and I know friends who’ve received it,” says Halverson, who previously attended Princess Margaret Secondary School in Penticton. Halverson is now in his first year at Okanagan College taking engineering.

“It’s a lot of money, and it means a lot to me.”

Halverson is one of three South Okanagan high school graduates to have received this year’s Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship, which provides $2,500 towards their first year at Okanagan College.

The annual awards are given to high school students who demonstrate good grades while contributing to their communities.

Paige Russill and Verity Taylor, both graduates of Summerland Secondary School, also received the awards.

Russill is taking her first semester of an Associate of Arts Degree at the College. She says she wasn’t able to work as much as she wanted as a result of COVID-19, and this scholarship will help pay for her education.

Taylor is also taking the first year of an Associate of Arts Degree with the goal of majoring in psychology and working with children and youth. Taylor says in addition to the funds, she is proud to receive the recognition.

“I really appreciate being chosen for such a prestigious award and I’m thankful for it,” says the seventeen-year-old. “It’s being put to good use to better my future.”

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.

“Our goal is to assist first-year students,” says Rick. “I was impressed by their enthusiasm and now they’re going to Okanagan College and achieving their goals.”

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

Recently, the Okanagan College Foundation recognized the Thorpe’s longstanding support with a commemorative booklet featuring updates from students who’ve received the awards over the last 14 years.

“Thank you for being an integral part of Okanagan College’s mission to transform lives and communities,” writes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director Helen Jackman.??

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 instill a belief in students that they can achieve great things. Your generous commitment to our students is deeply appreciated.”

Jesse Emmond who received the award in 2007 and went on to become a lawyer, says while the financial need of students is almost always a significant one, there is also a need for pride and recognition.

The motivation you helped instill in me at a younger age provided a qualitative shift in understanding for what I believed I could achieve in my lifetime. It also strengthened my understanding of the value of a supportive community,” writes Emmond in an update to the Thorpes.

Danielle Hofer received the award in 2010, and says the award helped her pay for school, and save enough money to study for a semester abroad in Berlin, Germany. In her role as the President of JCI Kelowna (Jr. Chamber International) Hofer is continually growing her leadership skills, which she credits as first cultivated at the College.

“Thank you for your generous support and for your continued leadership in our community,” says Hofer.

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