As we begin the new school year, The University of Winnipeg is proud to report that hundreds of students have been able to follow their dreams because of the unique Opportunity Fund, which offers two distinct programs: fast-track bursaries for University students and tuition-credits for elementary and high school students. The fund seeks specifically to support Aboriginal students, new Canadians and refugees, war-affected youth and students from inner-city neighbourhoods.
To date, UWinnipeg has provided 653 Opportunity Fund fast-track bursaries to students who required extra financial help and 62 of those students, such as Chantel Knowles, have successfully graduated from their programs to date.
Knowles, a 29 year-old single mother, was determined to “look at the bigger picture and provide a better life for my three children.” She commuted daily from Fisher Branch to attend the unique eight-month Indigenous Police Preparation diploma program offered by the University’s Division of Continuing Education, which she completed in April (2011).
“I could not have followed this dream without the Opportunity Fund help I received, and the help of my program coordinator who made sure I was able to apply,” said Knowles, who received a total of $5,000 in Opportunity Fund bursaries. “I would not be where I am today without this help. I am very thankful.”
Knowles is currently in training with Manitoba Corrections and on her way to pursuing her dream career as a corrections officer.
As well, UWinnipeg has approximately 150 students registered in the Opportunity Fund tuition credit program. The “Earn As You Learn” approach is unique for a university in Canada. Students as early as Grade 4 participate in science and sustainability programs and can earn up to $4,000 in their own tuition credit account if they stay in school and graduate. These are, in effect, deferred scholarships.
The Opportunity Fund was created in 2008 by The University of Winnipeg to bridge the graduation gap and transform lives. The goal of the Opportunity Fund is to build a $10-million endowment fund that will help ensure that everyone, regardless of background and socio-economic status, has access to higher education and opportunities. The Opportunity Fund is supported by generous private and government donations. Information about The University of Winnipeg Foundation is available at: www.uwinnipegfoundation.ca/choose
Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: [email protected]