Student achievement drives donor support of Giving Day initiative
For some, giving and philanthropy come naturally. Blake Adair, his wife Stacey Hall, and family friends Ryan and Kasia Lenz are such donors. This Giving Day, they hope you'll consider a life-changing gift to Bow Valley College too.
Blake and Stacey, driven by their belief in the power of education, created and funded the Invest in Yourself bursary in 2020. Touched by the student thank-you letters they received after their first student awards were dispersed, their friends Ryan and Kasia were inspired to hop on board. The foursome pooled their funds to create full scholarships for four students per year who would benefit most from the certainty of financial support throughout their entire program.
"We all feel that Bow Valley College offers educational opportunities for people to advance themselves in a variety of fields. Traditional scholarships often support those who are already privileged. We wanted to focus on students who maybe haven't had the support or opportunity to pursue their education," Blake says. "We felt it would be impactful to support people who have realfinancial need, to give them a leg up and to give them the confidence that they can do this, that they have support to make big, transformational change in their lives."
Blake, Stacey, Ryan, and Kasia have seen the impact firsthand that donor-funded dollars make on the lives of Bow Valley College students. The student testimonials they received from their first recipients made a big impact on them. "Education is so important – it really helps magnify the gift," says Ryan. "Bow Valley College's programs allow people to apply themselves, to get training, and to get a job. Bow Valley College is about accessibility."
Donors like Blake, Stacey, Ryan, and Kasia feel motivated to give for many reasons – and want to encourage others to give as well. "I come from a privileged position," says Kasia. "It's really exciting and humbling to be able to add a little bit of equity to the world with what little we're able to. Giving back gives you a connection to the community overall. And I think that's so important."
"This is all about the students," adds Blake. "We provide some support, but they are doing the hard part. Recipients thus far have significant challenges and responsibilities in their day to day lives, over and above the time and effort required to pursue their education. The bursary helps alleviate financial stress, but they are taking on the challenge to invest in themselves towardsa brighter future for them, and their families."
Hospital Unit Clerk Certificate student and Invest in Yourself Bursary recipient Tanya has felt the impact of these gifts firsthand. "Your generosity and kindness for students like myself not only makes a huge impact financially but emotionally as well,” she says “This year has been one of difficulty, challenge, stress, and great uncertainty, and most recently, I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to make ends meet. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.”
Your help, along with that of donors like Blake, Stacey, Ryan, and Kasia, will help ensure that our students like Tanya have access to the funds they need to complete their studies. In 2020/21, more than 655 students received more than $990,000 in student awards and bursaries – made possible by everyday donors. Join the movement and help us inspire our students to reach higher and continue their studies. Make your gift for Giving Day today!