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College launches emergency support fund to help students impacted by COVID-19

April 9, 2020

Red River College is launching a COVID-19 Emergency Student Support Fund to help students who require extra financial assistance as a result of the global pandemic.

The new fund has been kickstarted by donations from the Princess Auto Foundation, Powerland Computers and the Women in Trades Fund. It is available to students who require support for costs such as food, housing and internet access for those who do not have a connection, as well as other financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.

“One of the many domino effects of COVID-19 has been students losing part-time jobs or dealing with unexpected financial stress due to the ever-changing circumstances,” says Dr. Christine Watson, interim President and CEO of RRC. “We want to do everything possible to support our students so they can complete their studies and lessen their worries about food or rent.”

The Princess Auto Foundation, which has a long history of supporting RRC students, donated $50,000 to the fund.

“We know that support for students goes a long way in ensuring success,” says Ken Larson, President and CEO of Princess Auto Ltd. “Like many Manitoba companies, we rely on RRC grads to help drive our workforce. We will continue to need RRC grads when the economic turmoil recedes and our province begins the important work of rebuilding our economy.”

The sentiments were echoed by leaders at Powerland Computers, which contributed $10,000.

“We’re fortunate to be in a situation where we can offer support to students who may be struggling during this unprecedented time,” says Ashley Penner, CEO of Powerland Computers. “Red River College is a strong partner, and an important contributor to Manitoba’s IT and technology sectors. We are proud to be able to help in any way we can.”

The Women in Trades Fund, which contributed $10,000, is also a long-time supporter of RRC students, with a focus on attracting more women to careers in the trades.

Through the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund, help is available for students who are enrolled full-time (or were at the time of RRC’s transition to alternative delivery models for courses, and/or cancellation of practicum/clinical courses), are maintaining academic eligibility to continue their program, and can demonstrate the need for assistance resulting from the pandemic. If there are fees outstanding on the student’s account, assistance will be applied to these fees first.

Eligible students can apply online.

The new fund currently stands at $100,000. RRC is encouraging its donors, alumni, partners and community members to consider a donation to help students deal with the impact of COVID-19. To make a contribution, visit