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Regional student Sarah Costen recognized with Cal Wenzel Family Foundation Award

The award recognizes student achievement and celebrates the future students are creating for themselves and their children.

For Sarah Costen, the decision to return to school after a 25-year career in education and childcare was not easy. “I was looking to retrain in a different industry,” she says. “The thought of returning to post-secondary education as an older student was daunting.”

Sarah chose Bow Valley College because it meant being able to remain in her home community in Cochrane, giving her more time to support her family and children, including a daughter in grade 12. “I instantly liked the small feel and quiet nature of the Cochrane campus,” she says. 

Now a student in the Business Administration Certificate program at the College’s Cochrane campus, she was recently announced as the winner of the Cal Wenzel Family Foundation award.

The award is in recognition of student accomplishment and celebrates the future that students are attempting to create for themselves and for their children.


“I liked the family orientation of the award,” says Sarah. “I almost did not apply due to a family bereavement that took me back to the UK during the first weeks of this semester,” she adds. “It is a huge honour to be recognized by Bow Valley College and the Cal Wenzel Family Foundation in this way.”

One of Sarah’s instructors, Brenda Stanton, notes that Sarah is not only deserving of the award but was compelled to help with her application for another reason. “Our regional learners are often viewed through a different lens than our learners at main campus. There are fewer learners and instructors [in the regions], but the expected outcomes are the same, and we prepare our learners for jobs, and more importantly, to think as entrepreneurs and to look at the types of businesses they could start in their home communities.”

For Sarah, it goes beyond just studying a new field. “I am not only looking for a career change, but a lifestyle change,” she says. “I would like to establish my own business, offering services writing content for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. This award will help me to achieve this.”


There’s a list of people Sarah is grateful to on her educational journey, including instructors Craig Dyer and David Fisher —whom she credits for showing her that the world of business is far more interesting than she’d believed—as well as Margaret Adams and Lily Moore at the Cochrane campus. “Thank you to those who recognized me and chose me to receive this award.”

Students looking to find out about awards or scholarships available through the College should log into the Student Awards Portal.

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