Going back to school while juggling the demands of a job and raising two young children can be extremely difficult. Just ask Andréanne Beaumier-Fortin, a working single mother who is currently pursuing her studies in Practical Nursing.
“Between work, kids and school, it sometimes can get overwhelming,” says Andréanne. “Having extra financial support helps to relieve some of the stress and keeps me afloat.”
The extra financial support Andréanne mentions was received through the Community Foundation, which assists students of all ages with bursaries to help them achieve their educational goals. In addition to bursary funds managed by the Foundation and awarded through post-secondary institutions such as Okanagan College, the Foundation administers its own bursary program, which annually offers awards totaling more than $40,000 through ten bursary funds.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must live within the boundaries of the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, or have graduated from a high school in the region within the last five years. Each of the ten bursary funds has its own specific criteria, and students are welcome to apply for all bursaries for which they qualify. The amount available through each bursary varies, ranging from $200 to $3,500.
Andréanne’s bursary has been important to her success as a student. “It has been an intense journey so far in the Practical Nursing Program but lots of positive experiences and achievements are coming out of it,” she says. “The support of the Foundation helps make succeeding for students like me possible.”