Community Rallies To Provide Financial Relief To Students During Covid-19

We learned that some of our students were struggling financially due to COVID-19. In response, the Bow Valley College community pulled together and quickly created an emergency relief bursary for students in need.

We extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our staff donors and alumni for your contributions. You continue to strengthen our community!

For some, the world is quiet and on pause; and for others, the world is chaotic and resting on their brave shoulders. As for our learners, most of them rely on part-time or practicum work as they study to pursue their career. Bow Valley College students are diverse: they are parents, they are newcomers, they are Indigenous, they are born-and-raised-Calgarians. New to the workforce or on to their next career path, our students are inspired and motivated to contribute to Calgary’s economy and community.

Due to COVID-19, a significant portion of our student body is struggling financially and unable to pay for necessities like food and shelter. To alleviate the immediate financial impact our student body was facing, Bow Valley College’s first response was to create the COVID-19 Response Emergency Financial Needs Bursary. This $25,000 fund was established with unrestricted donor resources and is open to all students with demonstrated financial need. We were also successful in acquiring an additional $25,000 from the United Way’s Emergency Relief program that will go directly to students in need so that they can continue to pursue their program of study. Thanks to our donors, our students can access emergency funds quickly to buy food for themselves and their families.

“Thank you for giving me a chance. Since I was exposed to COVID-19 during my practicum, I couldn’t work anymore. My weekend job was my main salary each month, so I was desperate financially. The COVID Response bursary and the support from the college was a really big help because I could buy groceries. Thank you to the donors who support us students.” 

We are making a significant effort to keep our learning community connected, engaged, and thinking forward. From virtual social hours to online learning, we have been able to pivot and ensure our learners are not left alone nor behind.

“The COVID Response bursary has helped my family and me. I used the money to buy groceries. In crises like this, this support is really helpful to students like me who are struggling. I hope others who are facing the same challenges get help too. Thank you.”

Our staff community have put together a comprehensive list of all local resources providing COVID-19 support, which was quickly distributed to all students and employees. Departments within the college have also demonstrated great comradeship. For example, our School of Health and Wellness provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to our Information Technology department and Security team.

More than ever, Calgarians are coming together and are looking out for one another. We see the community rallying to support our most vulnerable people, to flatten the curve, and to maintain a sense of connectedness. We know the Bow Valley College community has been no exception, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to all our funders, donors and community members.

“I received the $200 I needed, and it absolutely helped my family and me. My husband was laid off when the pandemic hit, and as a student, I have zero income. We have two young kids and didn’t know what to do. The money from Bow Valley College helped pay our grocery bills, so we didn’t have to worry about food until the EI money arrived. I can’t thank the donors enough for helping us bridge through such a difficult time!”

As ambassadors and donors to our college, you are investing in Calgary’s future. Thank you.  If you’d like to learn how you can continue to help, you can contact Ila Rakhi at for more information. 

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