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RRC alum launches bursary to support First Nations and Metis students

December 8, 2016


Cindy Petrowski’s enthusiasm for education took root at Red River College in the early 1980s. Today, she and her partner are giving back in the form of a newly created endowment fund: The Cindy Petrowski and Phillip Marsh Helping Hands Bursary.

In honour of their Metis family members, the bursary will support First Nations or Metis students with their academic aspirations and help with financial burdens.

Speaking from her home in Victoria, B.C., the RRC graduate, who now spends most of her time with family and her dog, or volunteering for various non-profits, fondly recalls her time at the College.

Petrowski chose RRC because of its reputation then — as now — as a post-secondary institution that offered instruction in current and high-demand skills recognized and required by employers.

She enrolled in the stenography program at a time when computers were just emerging in office environments. “I felt the course offered me an opportunity to learn office skills, and to try my hand at technology,” she remembers.  

After graduating in 1982, Petrowski began her career in a government office where she was exposed to other aspects of business that interested her, specifically accounting.

“Having skills from my program [at RRC] offered me opportunities in my workplace to grow, as well as the means to afford additional education,” she says.

Petrowski continued to work while simultaneously pursuing further education at the University of Winnipeg and receiving her Certified General Accountant designation. “Over the years, I was able to advance in my career because I have always believed in education. RRC gave me the skills needed to grow and learn.”

Petrowski recalls how her teachers and mentors at RRC made a difference in her journey.

“As I moved through my career, I remembered the fantastic instructors I had and their patience with each and every one of their students,” she says. “I would encourage alumni to remember the experience and the rewards that RRC has provided them in career opportunities, friends made, and knowledge gained. Donate to help others achieve greatness through education.”

Each year, one Cindy Petrowski and Phillip Marsh Helping Hands Bursary (minimum value: $500) will be available to a student attending any full-time program at Red River College. If there is not a suitable First Nations or Metis applicant, the recipient will be selected from one of the other general bursary application pools. Application deadline is January 15, 2018.

For further information, contact Elena Grinshteyn, RRC Development Officer, at 204.631.3324 or