Local and national organizations lend a hand to ever-growing college
By Aaron Guillen, Staff Reporter
New West Firefighters Charitable Society
Looking for a way to pay off tuition without the hassle of student loan services? Look no further. Recently, the New Westminster Firefighters Charitable Society donated $1,000 to Douglas endowment funds. This donation came to fruition thanks to the people at the society who care about their local citizens receiving a solid education.
Glen Bailey, president of the local Firefighters Charitable Society, explained the decision process behind choosing Douglas.
“We made a donation several years ago for the New West Firefighters bursary,” Bailey commented. “Jennifer from the [Douglas bursary] foundation contacted us and explained that, due to the cost of living, the bursary money wasn’t donating as much as they would have liked, so she provided us with some options. [We could either] add a lot of money to the bursary, or join up with the New Westminster 150th celebration bursary for Douglas students. We decided as a group to join the city’s bursary so more money could be gifted out.”
This additional push brought the overall total beyond $32,000. According to the New Westminster Record, since the early 2000s, the charitable society has assisted over a dozen students who took courses at either campus. Bailey shared his words of encouragement to those select few who receive any sort of bursary in the future.
“Keep working hard and make sure you’re achieving your goals as far as education goes,” Bailey added. “All we really want is for anyone who receives this to give it their all while having a good education. I went to Douglas College myself straight out of high school, and I know Douglas is a fantastic educational facility.”
The Firefighters Charitable Society began in 1990 with the dream of giving back to the community members who needed it most. Since the start of it all, the team of firefighters has been able to donate money and time back into the city they love. Through various fundraising activities such as the annual tree-chipping event, the bi-annual hockey game against Canucks alumni, and multiple car washes and barbecues, the society is proud to have donated over $100,000 to the Christmas Hamper Program, $20,000 to the Inner City School Lunch Program, and $20,000 in bursaries.
Looking towards the future, Bailey has high hopes for future collaborations between the Firefighter’s Charitable Society and the college.
“Our group is really excited to work with Douglas, seeing that the college started in New Westminster and has a big campus,” Bailey explained.
“We’re always looking to work with new people in partnerships, and we’re really big on educational opportunities. If we can help the students, we are always looking for a chance to.”
The Joyce Family Foundation
Additionally, Douglas College has received $250,000 for new bursaries. This overwhelming donation, provided by The Joyce Family Foundation, will help many Douglas students achieve their academic goals without financial insecurity dragging them down. Ronald Joyce, a Canadian entrepreneur known for investing in Tim Hortons, has turned his sights towards Douglas College, hoping to make someone’s life a little easier. Just like he guided the coffee chain’s growth and success across the country, Joyce wishes to bring about success through the bursaries students will receive on his foundation’s behalf.
“The newly-established Joyce Family Foundation Bursary will remove the financial barrier of attending post-secondary education for three first-year students each year,” explained Hazel Postma, Associate Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations, in a press release.
“In addition to the $3,000 bursary, which will cover almost all their first-year expenses, the recipients will also gain valuable support and skills through participation in a student-leadership group.”
The college hopes for its bursary recipients to set themselves up for success by becoming more involved in extracurricular activities. In order to be eligible for the bursaries set to roll out in the Fall 2017 semester, students must be enrolled full-time in any select program, and participate in the Student Leadership Community of Practice.
“We wanted to make sure high-school graduates were able to attend Douglas College regardless of their financial situation,” Postma added.
“We are extremely grateful to The Joyce Family Foundation and its trustees for this generous gift and opportunity they have provided to the youth in our community.”
Thanks to Douglas College officials who reached out to the Joyce Foundation, students straight out of high school will also be eligible, a first at the college. According to its website, The Joyce Foundation seeks to support the well-being of Canadian children and youth in hopes to develop them into independent, responsible, and well-rounded individuals.
“The Joyce Family Foundation is pleased to provide this support to Douglas College students,” said Joyce. “Their drive, together with their post-secondary education and training, will allow them to follow their dreams.”