Ladysmith and District Credit Union (LDCU), has been a long-time supporter of high school graduates in Ladysmith. For the past 13 years, the have awarded $13,000 in bursaries to Ladysmith students, and this year they went a step further.
LDCU partnered with the LSS graduation committee and Spider Graphics to create signs for the class of 2020. Each sign featured the names and grad photos of each student. LDCU CEO, John de Leeuw said that LDCU made the decision to fund the signs because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We wanted to something to recognize the graduates due to the fact they weren’t going to get the normal types of celebration,” de Leeuw said. “Through this we could show the kids that their accomplishments are important.”
This is the first time that the LDCU has partnered with LSS on creating signs for a graduating class. Aside from the annual bursaries, LDCU typically gives each graduate small gifts like backpacks, water bottles, and pens. After seeing the how well the grad signs were received, de Leeuw says LDCU will likely continue funding the signs in the future.
“I have a feeling it’ll become a staple,” he said.
When de Leeuw saw all the signs laid out on the hill outside of LSS, he said he felt proud to be involved in the initiative. Before pursuing a career with the credit union, de Leeuw went to school to be a teacher. He said that supporting the youth of Ladysmith has always been a cause close to his heart.
“We love to do anything to support kids, whether they be primary, intermediate, or high school.”
In the past, LDCU parterned with Ladysmith schools on a program called Kids’ Count that taught Ladysmith youth the value of saving money and financial planning.
Although LDCU cannot offer employment to high school students, de Leeuw said he’d be happy to talk to any high school student who is interesting in pursuing a career in the credit union system.
“We would more than welcome that,” he said.
The grad signs were on display for Friday’s convocation ceremony at LSS, and were on display again for Saturday’s grad parade. The grad signs will later be distributed to each student to keep as a memento from their graduating year.