BC Aboriginal students share over $900,000 in awards

Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society logo

December 3, 2014

BC Aboriginal students will share over $900,000 in awards for college and university education this year.

VICTORIA – The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society has granted a total of $917,500 to a record 310 Aboriginal students in BC to support their studies at post-secondary colleges and universities throughout the province.

The Society’s Aboriginal Awards program is funded from the returns on a $12 million endowment fund established by the Province in 2008. Subsequent provincial contributions to the fund are used to encourage more Aboriginal students to become teachers, and in support of Aboriginal students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees. Awards from $1,000 to $5,000 each are issued to students through a competitive process every year. The awards programs are intended to assist in removing barriers to higher education for the province’s Aboriginal peoples.

“We want Aboriginal students to be among the first in line for the one-million jobs expected by 2022,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “These scholarships support Aboriginal students as they apply themselves to academic excellence, which is a foundation to their future success.”

Kree Byrne, a scholarship recipient who is studying health sciences at the University of the Fraser Valley, wrote: “I am continually meeting likeminded individuals in my field that are striving to improve the lives of those around them. To learn in this environment without the additional financial stress is a blessing I cannot be more thankful for.”

The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society provides scholarships to students attending public post-secondary institutions across British Columbia. Since its inception, the Society has awarded over $7 million from its six scholarship and award programs.

Hugh Gordon, Chair of the Society’s Board of Directors commented that “Education improves the capacity of an individual to contribute to his or her community and enhances the level of an individual’s future earnings. The Society is particularly privileged to support members of British Columbia’s Aboriginal communities as they pursue their post-secondary education objectives.”

Editors Please Note: A complete list of 2014 Aboriginal Student Award recipients can be found attached to the release on the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society website at www.ikbbc.ca/web/news

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Media information contact:
Rory Grewar, Program Director, Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society Phone: 1-844-478-4645 (toll free)
E-mail: rgrewar@ikbbc.bc.ca