One of the best ways to offer a leg up to UBC students is through financial assistance that allows them to focus more on their studies and worry less about taking on debt and paying the bills. UBC’s Okanagan alumni chapter committee had this in mind when they created the Okanagan Alumni Endowment Fund in 2008. It was a commitment to helping students reach their academic potential that led this grassroots volunteer group to fundraising for our students.
“There is a deep-seated desire among our volunteers to reduce the financial pressures that can go along with a quality education,” says Catherine Comben BA’67, who leads the group. “More and more students leave university with mounting debt. Our goal is to lessen that load.”
What does an alumni bursary award mean to a university student? It means more money, yes, but more importantly, it means a connection with people who’ve been where you are-people who believe in you and who are investing in your future. It means a community pulling together.
Okanagan Alumni Endowment Fund bursaries are awarded on the basis of financial need to later-year students who no longer have access to entrance awards. Students nearing graduation often experience a financial crunch. They may take on extra work to pay the bills and reduce their course load to balance the demands on their time.
“With a part-time job I can only take four courses a semester so it will take me longer to graduate and I’m already overwhelmed. Access to more funds would be amazing because I could work less and it would give me more time to focus on my studies.”
– 3rd year Arts student
Why support the Okanagan Alumni Endowment Fund? Not too long ago, you were that student, struggling to buy books, pay tuition, attend class and have a life. You know what it’s like and you can make a difference. By donating to this fund and joining forces with Okanagan alumni in support of our students, you have to power to transform lives.
“We recognize that this [the Alumni Endowment Fund] is going to be an investment in the future, both for the students and for the community.”
Catherine Comben, Alumna and Chair of the UBC Alumni Association – Okanagan Chapter