Students in Red River College’s Engineering Technology programs now have the opportunity to earn life-changing scholarships, thanks to the generosity of local philanthropists Dr. Gerry and Barb Price.
Well-known for their altruism, the couple will donate $525,000 to RRC over the next five years. Their scholarships will reward high-achieving students by providing them with the financial support they need to minimize time spent in part-time jobs to pay for tuition, rent and other living costs.
The first award recipients will be recognized tonight at RRC’s Technology Awards dinner.
“If you can barely keep food on the table and have a part-time job just to survive, you might not be able to put the best effort into school,” says Dr. Gerry Price (shown above, second from right), chairman and CEO of the Price group of companies.
“High-achieving students need to put in long hours, but if you’re broke, you’re kind of in trouble because you need to eat and sleep too. We want these scholarships to provide more time for hardworking students to focus on their studies so they can end up being the best they can be.”
Through the Price Family Foundation, Gerry and Barb Price have been generous supporters of education, arts and culture, and health care. They already fund about 200 scholarships each year, with a focus on those who don’t always have champions — children, single mothers and families in distress. With today’s announcement, they’ll be supporting an additional 30 to 60 students each year.
“This is significant,” says Andrew Roncin, an instructor in RRC’s Electrical Engineering Technology program. “Up until now, our programs haven’t had as many available scholarships — but with this gift, about 10 per cent of our Electrical Engineering Technology students can receive some support each year.”
The Price Scholarships will be offered to students who are enrolled full-time in Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Instrumentation and Control Engineering, and Manufacturing CAD, and have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 after their first year.
“I truly appreciate how much it will impact the students’ lives,” says Roncin. “For me, this is external validation that what we’re doing is working. It’s one thing for us to say that as the College’s slogan, but when someone like Gerry makes a commitment like this, it’s the validation that our programs, and the graduates we produce, are working.”
Roncin teaches RRC’s Introduction to Electrical Engineering Technology program, which helps students upgrade their skills and better understand the value of becoming a technologist.
“Dr. Price has always been very accommodating with our students, and it’s so valuable for them to see someone who graduated a few years ago in those positions,” he explains. “It was on one of those tours where Gerry looked at me and asked, ‘Are there high-achieving students in this program who have had to leave because of financial stress?’And the answer is yes.”
RRC is currently engaged in a comprehensive fundraising campaign to ensure the College can continue meeting the needs of students and industry in Manitoba. RRC’s donors are instrumental in ensuring RRC has the state-of-the-art labs, equipment and instructors needed to produce high-quality graduates and meet the needs of Manitoba’s labour market.
To learn more, visit rrc.ca/fundraising