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For Immediate Release
Ministry of Housing and Social Development
September 16, 2009
PRINCE GEORGE – Continuing her education at the University of Northern BC is being made easier for Lisa Close as a result of a BC Housing Bursary. Lisa is one of 93 residents of subsidized housing in British Columbia who have been aided this year by the BC Housing Education Award Program that was founded in 1994.“Lisa and the other award winners are positive role models for their communities, and we want to support and encourage them as they pursue post-secondary education,” said Prince George-McKenzie MLA Pat Bell. “The Education Awards Program is a great way to help tenants in social housing become more educated and more financially independent, and it enables them to make a more lasting contribution to the province.”
“These education awards ensure that bright students such as Lisa are able to reach their full potential,” said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “This program provides a great opportunity for those who want to further their education, obtain new skills, and become more financially independent. This bursary will help Lisa reach her goal to pursue a Master’s degree at UNBC.”
Tenants who live in subsidized housing, receive rental assistance, or participate in the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program were eligible to apply for one of 93 bursaries and awards this year to put towards tuition and school expenses.
Lisa Close will be using her bursary to assist in the pursuit of her master of arts degree at the University of Northern BC. Lisa’s goal is to teach at the college level and complete her Ph.D. Her Teaching Assistant experience earlier this year earned her recognition with an award for Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching. On a personal level, Lisa is involved in mentoring youth, teaching Sunday school and has travelled to Eastern Africa on a health and education initiative of Impact International.
“After the birth of my son, I knew the retail jobs I had would not be sufficient to support my family, so I made the decision to return to school and pursue my dream of becoming a teacher,” said Close. “I am passionate about encouraging young people to realize their potential to create positive change in their world through education.”
Applicants submitted a personal statement describing their educational and personal goals, and challenges they have overcome, as well as letters of reference and academic transcripts. BC Housing’s Education Awards Program now offers five types of awards and bursaries with the introduction of the new BC Housing Award for Full-Time Studies:
§ BC Housing Bursary – 72 bursaries, worth $750 each, to support youth or adults between 17 and 64 to pursue adult basic education, vocational education or post-secondary education.
§ BC Housing Award for Full-Time Studies – 10 awards, worth $1,000 each, to support youth or adults between 17 and 64 pursuing post-secondary or vocational education on a full-time basis.
§ Alexandra Thorpe Award for BC Women – Alexandra Thorpe was a bright young woman who touched the lives of everyone she met. Although she struggled with depression and drug addiction, she hoped to return to school, and this award is a tribute to her spirited life. Five $1,000 awards are funded in partnership with the Minerva Foundation for BC Women, Edge Consulting and BC Housing to support women in financial need.
§ Margaret Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award – Margaret Mitchell was a dedicated housing advocate and helped develop the BC Housing Education Awards Program. This $750 award, named in her memory, recognizes a youth graduating from Grade 12 for excellence in academics, sports, the arts or community involvement.
§ Minerva Foundation Award for BC Women – Five $1,000 awards are funded by the Minerva Foundation for BC Women and BC Housing to help Aboriginal women pursue full-time, post-secondary education. These awards are designed to help single mothers advance their education, assist women with children fleeing abusive relationships, retrain mature women returning to the workforce, advance women in non-traditional fields of study, and support women with disabilities to overcome educational barriers.
604 505-8428 (cell)
For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca
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