Parkland College’s scholarship program just keeps on growing with the help of the Province’s Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship program and civic-minded businesses and organizations across the Yorkton region.
At an awards ceremony march 26 at Painted Hand Casino, the school handed out $85,800 to 71 students bringing the tally to $139,540 for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Dr. Fay Myers, Parkland president, said fundraising for the new Trades and Technology Centre scheduled to begin construction this spring, helped bump scholarship funding.
“It resulted from our Capital Campaign,” she said. “There were businesses that were not able to provide a gift for capital, but were able to provide funding for scholarships.”
Myers signaled out two new donors as significant to the increase, which resulted in a record year for scholarships.
The Yorkton Tribal Council committed to provide $150,000 over five years to fund the education of Indigenous students from its six member First Nations. The first of these was given out at the scholarship tea in September 2013.
Another $10,000 came from TD bank in the form of five $1,000 endowments.
Donor retention is also important to the growing program.
“Our current donors continue, so we are able to build on what we’ve had in the past,” Myers said, adding she believes the loyalty of donors is largely due to the continuing skilled labour shortage in the area.
Finally, the provincial government’s promise to match scholarship money the college raises dollar-for-dollar doubles up the benefit to students and continues to grow as well.
“We have received additional funds from the Province in the budget, so it will increase next year,” she said. “In fact, we anticipate it will increase for the next three years.”