College scholarships help students attain their goals

Forty-seven students from Salmon Arm were honoured with scholarships and bursaries this month

Laureen Shannon

Laureen Shannon

Forty-seven students from Salmon Arm were honoured with scholarships and bursaries this month at Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm Campus awards ceremony.

A number of mature students from the Salmon Arm campus credit support from the College and the community for helping them to realize their dream of returning to the classroom.

Laureen Shannon, who is currently pursuing a Business Administration diploma, received one of five Al Neale Bursaries valued at $1,500. A single mother to three children, Shannon says the bursary helps in more ways than one.

“Receiving this bursary will help me complete my program,” says Shannon. “But the impact of the support goes beyond alleviating financial stress. I feel incredibly inspired by the fact that someone in our community recognizes my hard work and wants to help me in my education.”

When she completes her diploma in 2016, Shannon hopes to go on to pursue a Bachelor of Business degree in Human Resources Management at the college.

“I feel very proud to be able to set an example for my sons,” says Shannon. “I am showing them the importance of lifelong learning, and I’m very grateful to the donors and to the College for helping me bring my dreams within reach.”

Jim Barmby, Regional Dean for Okanagan College’s Shuswap-Revelstoke region spoke about the role that donors play in supporting the interactive educational experience offered by the college.

“The learning environment provided by Okanagan College is conducive to a high level of student-teacher interaction, which is something we are very proud of and feel greatly benefits the students,” says Barmby. “It is all the more special that the people of our region play such an active role in supporting our students.”

At the ceremony, numerous students credited small class sizes and the quality of instruction they received as contributing factors for their success.

Sean Rossouw received two awards, including the Salmon Arm College Scholarship for top student in Business.

“Having top-level professors who are so incredibly generous with their time as well as their knowledge has been life changing for me,” says Rossouw.

“I have been touched by their generosity as well as by the generosity of the surrounding community that is so involved in supporting students.”

Rossouw hopes to parlay his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (Accounting) into a career that allows him to give back.

This year, more than $75,000 will be disbursed to Shuswap students from the Okanagan College Foundation, the Shuswap Community Foundation, local community groups and individual donors.