In June, hundreds of graduating high school students from Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools (SD68) received a total of $462,000 in scholarships, bursaries and awards from the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation (NLSF) to pursue post-secondary education, and a fourth of this was given out in Ladysmith.
Sixty graduates of Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS) received $104,450 this year.
Overall, 372 students were awarded amounts ranging from $100 to $5,000 each.
Erin van Steen, executive director of the foundation, says that local service clubs, community organizations and private donors provided $322,000, while the Ministry of Education funded 140 scholarships of $1,000 each.
Last year, the foundation distributed $450,000 to local graduates toward the cost of post-secondary education.
“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, many graduating high school students now have the opportunity to continue their education,” van Steen said in a press release. “Our donors understand the importance of helping young people succeed and see their support as an investment in their community’s future. Without our donors’ financial support, many students may not have the opportunity to go to college or university.”
van Steen credits the $12,000 increase in funding to a new initiative — a 50/50 draw payroll contribution program for school district employees to help raise funds for scholarships. The foundation received a licence for the program last year.
This year’s top recipients from LSS, receiving $3,000 or more, are:
• Keauna Miller (Marc Lajeunesse Memorial Bursary $500; Mike Marshall Memorial Award $500; Vincent Family Award $500; Christy Moores Memorial Award $500; Royal Bank Financial Group Award $250; Ladysmith & District Credit Union Scholarship $3,000; Language Scholarship $500; Wickham Family Scholarship $2,500)
• Jennika Erickson (Ladysmith Health Care Youth Volunteer Scholarship $4,000; Jack McDonald Memorial Scholarship $5,000)
• Jocelyn Gamble (Cedar Lions’ Max DeJong Memorial Bursary $750; Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Scholarship $4,000; Ladysmith-Saltair Garden Club Bursary $500)
• Jonathan Hensman (Royal Bank Financial Group Awards $250; Lucy Lytton Memorial Scholarship $2,500; Ladysmith & District Credit Union Bursary $1,000)
• Anthony Hinde (Ladysmith Rexall, Coronation Mall Bursary $300; Hillside Medical Centre Scholarship $600; Lucy Lytton Memorial Scholarship $2,500)
• Kira Mauriks (The LCU Insurance Agencies Community Spirit Award $1,000; Mareena McNab Memorial Award $300; Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Scholarship $4,000)
• Courtney Osmond (Ladysmith Health Care Youth Volunteer Scholarship $4,000)
• Cassandra Plourde (Retired Teachers’ Association Award $500; Ladysmith & District Credit Union Award $3,000; Royal Canadian Legion 171 Bursary, Ladies Auxiliary $1,000)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that raises money and awareness to help vulnerable students in School District 68, which historically has one of the highest child poverty rates in B.C., according to the foundation.
While the original purpose was to raise funds for scholarships and bursaries, the foundation’s mission has expanded over the years to helping provide food programs for schools, raising money for school supplies, and other needs of students affected by poverty.
For more information about Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation or to donate to the foundation, contact van Steen at 250-753-4074 or visit www.NLSF.ca.