BRANDON, MB – Two Brandon University (BU) students are the first recipients of a new bursary to be awarded each year to post-secondary students of Aboriginal descent.
Kyla Smith, a second year Native Studies student, and Jacqueline Sinclair, in her final year of a Creative Arts degree, were presented with the Inter-provincial Association of Native Employment (IANE) Westman Bursary. IANE is a volunteer organization with chapters in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta, promoting the employment of Aboriginal people. BU is a member of IANE, Westman.
“This is a great achievement,” says Sinclair, who plans to publish a book of poetry before graduating in 2015, and then pursue a teaching degree. “”I will remember all of my bursaries and scholarships, they make me proud. I did this.”
Smith says the bursary will help reduce the stress of university life. “I won’t have to work at a job as much,” she says, “which means I have more time to focus on my studies and volunteering. This definitely keeps me on the right path.” Smith is interested in a Bachelor of Social Work and hopes to become a role model for Aboriginal people. “I just want to be able to help. If I can change one person’s life, that will make all the difference.”
Charlotte Larocque, IANE Westman Chair, says, “The positive energy that surrounds our two bursary winners is amazing, and affects everyone around them. I am pleased that, through this contribution, they are able to move forward with their studies and personal goals.”
“This new bursary is part of a powerful message to the community that we are partnering to support opportunities and working for the future,” says BU President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Gervan Fearon. “The number of students on our campus with self-declared Aboriginal ancestry grew by 13% in the past year. We will continue to do more to make Brandon the education destination for Kyla, Jaqueline, and every student from every background.”
Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Each year, BU awards more than $1.2-million in bursaries and scholarships to students.
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Gervan Fearon
President and Vice-Chancellor