Red River College students in Manitoba’s southeast region who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief, thanks to a $50,000 donation from the C.P. Loewen Family Foundation.
The College will award 50 bursaries, valued at $1,000 each, to students living in southeast Manitoba who complete a general scholarship application form and include a one-page statement outlining financial hardships they’ve faced due to the pandemic.
“This contribution from the Loewen Foundation will have a tremendous impact,” says interim RRC President Dr. Christine Watson. “We know that students have been struggling, and receiving this bursary could make the difference in someone’s decision to continue with their studies in the next term.”
“Red River College is thankful for the donors, staff, alumni and community members that have stepped up over the last few months to ensure our impacted students receive the relief they need.”
John Loewen, executive director of the Foundation, says the decision to donate was easy, and that he knows the support will have an immediate impact on students’ lives, allowing them to focus on their goals in education and training.
“If you consider a foundation and endowment as a rainy-day fund, well, it’s raining right now,” says Loewen (shown above). “We were very impressed with how quickly the College moved to support its students, and looked to past donors who could redirect their support.”
In addition to the new COVID-19 bursaries, the Loewen Foundation has provided similar supports to 26 RRC students over the last five years. Loewen says that in spite of how challenging these times are, he hopes that providing educational support will have a lasting, positive impact on recipients.
“The hope is that this provides an example for the students to carry with them through their lives — how to be selfless during a crisis,” he says. “There are going to be other issues over our respective lives, where we will need to change how we do things and adapt — so let’s do it with humanity, integrity and respect for others.”
The Foundation believes that support for educational insitutions helps to create a knowledgeable, skilled community — which in turn enriches the lives of everyone.
To date, RRC has raised more than $363,500 to support students who’ve been financially impacted by the pandemic. While many donors have provided such supports in recent weeks, the College is unable to keep up with student demand for financial aid, and is currently experiencing a backlog of applications.