A celebration of community learning took place at Selkirk College’s Mary Hall as donors and students came together for the annual Bursary Tea.
On Feb. 4, more than 300 people, including Selkirk College staff, enjoyed afternoon tea that included delicious food prepared by the Professional Cook Training Program and served by students in the Resort and Hotel Management Program.
Acknowledging the importance of working together to build a strong foundation of learning, bursaries were given out to students who qualify for financial support based on need. The goal is to ease the stress and burden so students can concentrate on their education and training. Even more was awarded in the form of scholarships and entrance awards.
The reason for giving
Santanna Hernandez is an Indigenous student at Selkirk College in her second year of the Rural Pre-Medicine Program. She is also a mother of four young children. Hernandez gave an emotional address at Saturday’s event thanking bursary donors for helping make her dream of becoming a rural doctor possible. She shared appreciation on behalf of all bursary winners.
“While we may all have slightly different stories, we are united in the desire to better our lives through post-secondary education. We are all struggling in our own ways to make that happen. But thanks to the incredible generosity of all the donors here today the weight on our shoulders is a little lighter,” says Hernandez. “On behalf of my fellow students thank you for helping us pay for tuition and books, for childcare, helping us visit our family on break and thank you for allowing me to let my kids dance.” Selkirk College communications coordinator Bob Hall spoke on behalf of the donors at Saturday’s event. He started the Lois and Marty Hall Memorial Bursary in honour of his parents who lived at Mountain Lakes well cared for by dedicated health care professionals until they recently passed away.
“I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand what the health care assistants — also known as care aids — do for these precious seniors who live at Mountain Lakes. They are loving, kind and thoughtful despite a work environment that is extremely challenging. They are the definition of frontline health care and they are true angels who walk the earth,” says Hall.
As a new employee at Selkirk College, Hall attended his first Bursary Tea in 2014 and it immediately became one of the highlights of his year because of the story he sees told over tea.
“The journey our students take is not one they travel alone. Through the support and encouragement of community members like those gathered in the room today… educational dreams are achieved together,” he says. Hall is deeply connected to the many stories told at Selkirk College. To mark the 50th anniversary, he’s been part of putting together a commemorative book tracing the history of Selkirk College through stories and photographs. It’s heading to the printer and will be ready by the end of March.
All proceeds from the book will go toward the Selkirk College 50th Anniversary Student Legacy Award that was started at the Bursary Tea one year ago and aims to raise $50,000 to support future students. Learn more about a Selkirk College legacy that supports students’ futures and order your book today at selkirk.ca/student/legacy.