KIRKLAND LAKE, ON: The lasting legacy of two long-time supporters of Northern College has paid off with a substantial increase in the amounts of awards given out to students this Fall.
Dr. George & Elisabeth Charlewood, a prominent Kirkland Lake couple, bequeathed $895,000 to the College over five decades ago in 1971. Their generous donation was then matched dollar-for-dollar at that time by the Ontario Government as part of the Student Opportunity Trust Fund, and has since grown substantially over the years.
Just shy of $300,000 was recently distributed to 300 current students studying at Northern College, with nearly half of that amount, $142,300, given out in $1,000 increments to students with funds earned from the Charlewood Foundation.
Northern College’s Kirkland Lake campus stately auditorium is dedicated in recognition of the Charlewoods’ most generous donation which continues on today as a major source of scholarship and bursary income for Northern College students at all campuses, the impact of which has been palpable.
“Due to the pandemic, my usual summer job was cancelled and I was without employment for five months,” said Sierra Fraser, a Northern College student currently enrolled in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Fraser, who received one of the $1,000 awards, joined her peers in sending a message to let donors and the organization know how appreciative she was of the gift. “This bursary has helped more than I can ever explain, and has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders,” stated Fraser. “So, for that, I thank you,” she added.
Given the restrictions of the current pandemic, an interactive mail out was sent to students as an alternative to an in-person event. Recipients received a congratulatory letter, a cheque and fun cut-out props allowing students to take part in a fun promotion where they could upload their thank you messages, photos, and videos of their proud moment for a chance to win an additional $250 in pre-paid Visa cards.
“This money will go towards my living expenses while attending the Animal Grooming program this winter semester,” said recipient Sarah Managhan who is studying on Northern’s Haileybury campus. “I can’t thank you enough as it has been trying times with limited work possibilities over the summer and this gift came at such a meaningful time. I am excited to attend Northern College’s Haileybury campus this winter semester to continue my practical classes and meet my instructors. Thank you once again.”
In addition to its annual scholarships, bursaries and awards, Northern College offered Proud to be Northern entrance awards valued at $2,500 this past Fall to students who chose to study in a two-year diploma program in Northeastern Ontario. Damien Lebrun, Mechanical Technician – Welder Fitter (Kirkland Lake campus), Nicole Campbell, Animal Grooming and Vet Assistant (Haileybury campus) and Joel Lachance – Pre-Service Firefighter (Timmins campus) were the lucky recipients of the entrance award.
Earlier this year, the College also chose to redirect all of the funds that the provincial government had provided to colleges with the arrival of Covid, back to learners, distributing $250 to each of its registered full-time students, totalling an additional several hundreds of thousands of dollars in student aid, along with college-supported emergency students funds totalling several tens of thousands of dollars.
“Amid the evolving and uncertain nature of our current times, one thing remains constant – Northern College’s commitment to supporting our students on their diverse learning journeys,” said Dr. Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO of Northern College, of the awards and student assistance initiatives. “This year, in light of all of the challenges students are facing, we’ve quadrupled the usual amounts of many of the awards for those learners pursuing their studies in unusual circumstances. The global events of this past year have shown us the continued importance of being there for students, compelling us to give more. Working with the gifts of donors, we have been able to do just that.”
Keen to build the resilience of students and families who face limited resources financially, Northern College is proud and grateful for the support it receives in each community annually that contributes to the distribution of, on average, $500,000 in scholarships, bursaries and awards. The difference it makes to the lives of learners continues to have positive ripple effects across the region.
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