B.C.residents receive education awards

B.C. residents receive education awards   December 5th, 2012

VICTORIA– Eighty-three B.C. students living in provincially subsidized housing will receive BC Housing Education Awards to help them further their education and achieve their goals.

The Education Awards Program is offered each year to promote skills development and education as a way to success and personal growth. The $750 bursaries and $1,000 awards can be used toward tuition and other school-related expenses for post-secondary education and training programs.


·         Kelowna resident Jessica Donaldson, a 27-year-old single mother, student and former addict has only one year to go before she completes her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Donaldson will be using her $750 bursary to alleviate some of the financial pressures during the upcoming semester.

·         Vancouver resident Gregory Shea, a 54-years-old single father, is venturing into a new career taking courses in old-school barbering. He will be using his $1,000 full-time studies award toward tuition fees and equipment expenses. Shea’s goal is to rent a chair in a busy barbershop, become a master barber and eventually own his own classic barber shop.

Anyone aged 17 to 64 years, who is living in provincially subsidized housing or receiving rent subsidy through BC Housing’s Rental Assistance Program, can apply for the bursaries and awards.


Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Minister Responsible for Housing –

“These awards help families and individuals prepare for a better future. It’s one way our government recognizes people who have the desire and determination to pursue their education and provide them with encouragement and a bit of help to reach their goals. Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2012 Educational Awards Program.” 

John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology and Minster Responsible for Multiculturalism –

“Educational award programs like these not only benefit the individual recipients, but also benefit the families and communities in which the students live and eventually find a career in. These awards are stepping stones toward educational success and fulfilment.”

Jessica Donaldson, award recipient –

“For many years I felt as if I didn’t fit in anywhere. I took a wrong turn and I wound up on the streets of Vancouver. I was close to death and only 80 pounds when I finally came to my senses and decided to get clean. As a single mother and former addict, I know that I’m destined to work in the field of social service. This bursary will help me get closer to completing my studies and closer to my career goals.”

Gregory Shea, award recipient –

“After a soul searching self-evaluation, considering various potential career changes at the age of 54, I decided on the classic barber school option. As a single father for the past nine years and having gone through a dramatic drop in income with my former employment, I believe that this profession will definitely help me become self sufficient, prosperous and fulfilled.”

Quick Facts:  


·          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:

o    BC Housing Bursary – 57 bursaries, worth $750 each to pursue adult basic education, vocational education or post-secondary education on a full- or part-time basis.

o    BC Housing Award for Full-Time Studies – 10 awards, worth $1,000 each, to pursue post-secondary or vocational education on a full-time basis.

o    Margaret Mitchell Outstanding Achievement Award – Margaret Mitchell was a dedicated housing advocate and helped develop BC Housing’s Education Awards Program. This $750 award recognizes a youth graduating from Grade 12 with proficiency in academics, sports, the arts or community involvement for educational or vocational training on a full-time basis.

o    Minerva Foundation Award for BC Women – 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, or support women with disabilities to overcome educational barriers.

o    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 that hindered their educational opportunities and who are now pursuing post-secondary education on a full- or part-time basis.

·         Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $3.2 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 97,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services.

Learn More:


·         To find out more information about the Educations Award Program, visit: http://www.bchousing.org/tenants/services/educationawards