Student awards — why they matter
By Brian J. Martin
We know the value of education and its importance in our society today. We see the benefits of a better educated workforce — increased productivity in our local economy, and the chance for those who educate themselves to earn a better living. The requirements for many jobs have changed and students — many with an eye to employment — are adapting to those changes by demanding more opportunities for learning. In the ideal world money would never be a barrier to getting an education. Sadly, in the real world that is not always the case..
Universities have responded to the need for financial aid by teaming with individuals, corporations, and foundations to create as many awards for students as possible. As more awards are created, more students gain opportunities for an education. UFV is no different in its desire for student support. It is for this reason that we turn to our community — you — to help us provide for students.
You are their community. It is through your support that students succeed and transform into contributing citizens. If we are to continue changing lives and building communities we need your help. Awards make a real difference in the lives and education of many students, rewarding excellence, easing need, and giving hope.
Twin sisters Jennifer & Sarah Gowdridge of Abbotsford may not do everything together — it just seems that way. So when they decided on post-secondary education they wanted to find something that appealed to their curiosity, and had good job prospects. They chose the welding program at UFV.
|Jennifer & Sarah Gowdridge are both winners of the Procor (BC) Inc. Award of Excellence (in subsequent years), allowing both girls to complete their Level 1 certification in welding at UFV.|
With money tight, they were unable to take classes together. So Sarah worked and paid the bills while Jennifer went to school. Fortunately, the Procor (BC) Inc. Award of Excellence was available to students beginning their welding training.
Jennifer applied, won the award, and completed her Level 1 certification in 2007. One year later Sarah applied, also won the Procor award, and followed the same path as her sister. Today, both are employed doing what they are good at — working with their hands.
“The award really came in handy,” recalls Jennifer. “It took so much pressure off of us. We could focus on learning.”
Through generous donations from the community, UFV can offer three types of financial aid and assistance to students: scholarships, leadership awards, and bursaries. Scholarships and leadership awards reward hard work, academic achievement, and community involvement. Bursaries fund financial need. They bridge the gap between desire for education and the economic realities some students face. And they matter — to our society, and to the lives and education of generations of students, our future citizens.
“In my four years at UFV we have seen a steady increase in awards funding,” says director of development Lindsay Follett. “We told the stories of students to the community, and the community responded with dedicated investment. Donations have created many more awards, but there is always a growing need — to increase award amounts and provide scholarships in as many UFV programs as possible. Our focus on providing the best undergraduate education in Western Canada will require additional scholarships so more students will have opportunities to obtain their education. The needs are greater than ever before.”
To learn more about the fundraising needs of the university contact the UFV Development office at 604-854-4595, email email@example.com, or you can also visit www.ufv.ca/giving.