Chemainus resident Mellisa Ganderton has received a BC Housing Education Award that will help her further her education, achieve her goals and improve her life.
"The BC Housing Education Awards provide financial support for British Columbians working towards their academic goals," said Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing. "This year's award recipients are creating opportunities for themselves and the provincial government is proud to contribute to their future success."
"Obtaining a post-secondary education can be challenging, yet people like Mellisa are committed to making it happen," said Ron Cantelon, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. "I'm happy our government is able to support students as they work toward their career goals."
Anyone in British Columbia who is living in subsidized housing, or receiving rent subsidies through BC Housing's Rental Assistance Program, is eligible to apply for the 98 bursaries and awards. The funds can be put towards tuition or other educational expenses such as books or supplies.
For Mellisa, a single mother with three children, the $750 bursary will help her pursue her bachelor of education at Vancouver Island University so she can become a teacher.
"The last two years have been full of growth for me, both as a new teacher and as a student," Mellisa explained. "I am very grateful for all the help I have received that has enabled me to make great progress towards my degree. I feel that I have really chosen the right path for me."
Applicants submitted a personal statement describing their educational and personal goals, and challenges they have overcome, as well as letters of reference and academic transcripts. The BC Housing Education Awards Program offers five types of awards and bursaries:
- BC Housing Bursary - 72 bursaries, worth $750 each, to support youth or adults between 17 and 64 to pursue adult basic education, vocational education or post-secondary education on a full- or part-time basis.
- BC Housing Award for Full-Time Studies - 10 awards, worth $1,000 each, to support youth or adults between 17 and 64 pursuing post-secondary or vocational education on a full-time basis.
- Margaret Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award - Margaret Mitchell was a dedicated housing advocate and helped develop the BC Housing's Education Awards Program. This $750 award recognizes a youth graduating from Grade 12 for excellence in academics, sports, the arts or community involvement who will pursue education or vocational training on a full-time basis.
- Minerva Foundation Award for BC Women - There are five $1,000 awards to help Aboriginal women pursue full-time, post-secondary education. This award is designed to help single mothers advance their education, assist women with children fleeing abusive relationships, retrain mature women returning to the workforce, advance women in non-traditional fields of study, and support women with disabilities to overcome educational barriers.
- The Kinloch Education Award for women - 10 awards at $1,000 each are awarded to women who may have overcome significant barriers in their lives which hindered their educational opportunities and who are now pursuing post-secondary education on a full- or part-time basis.
Over the last decade, the Province has invested $2.8 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 95,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.
Visit www.bchousing.org to learn more about provincial programs and services to address homelessness.