Picture Credit: Townshippers’ Association
Picture Caption: Townshippers’ Association is delighted to help three future nurses and one physiotherapist pursue their educational ambitions by awarding $25,000 in bursaries to (left to right, top) Michèle Giard, Katalina Smith, (left to right, bottom) Alexander Adank and Marie-Soleil Larouche through the McGill University Training and Retention of Health Professionals Project.
For Immediate Distribution
SHERBROOKE, October 29, 2015 – Townshippers’ Association, in partnership with McGill University, is proud to award $25,000 in academic scholarships to four health and social service students in the historical Eastern Townships through the McGill Health and Social Services Community Leadership Bursary Program.
“It is a great pleasure for us to award these scholarships to the next generation of health and social service professionals,” said Rachel Hunting, Executive Director of Townshippers’ Association. “By helping them to pursue their educational ambitions today, we are sustaining the Association’s efforts to promote access to health and social services in English, and investing in the future of accessible care in the Eastern Townships.”
Michèle Giard of Farnham and Katalina Smith of Cowansville will each receive $10,000 through the Category 1 bursary. Alexander Adank, Lennoxville, and Marie-Soleil Larouche, Waterville, will receive $2,500 each through the Category 2 bursary.
The scholarship program is administered by Townshippers’ Association in the historical Eastern Townships, which encompasses the Estrie and Montérégie-East regions, and is awarded through McGill University’s Training and Retention of Health Professionals Project which aims at retaining bilingual professionals in health and social services sectors. Following graduation, bursary recipients must commit to working in a public health and social services institution or related organization for a minimum of one year.
Now in her fourth year of physiotherapy studies at the Université de Sherbrooke, Giard hopes the bursary marks the beginning of a career at either the Brome Missisquoi Perkins (BMP) or Granby hospitals, allowing her to remain close to her family.
“As a student and a mom of three young kids, this bursary really means a lot to me. It will help me finish my studies without stress and let me continue, with the support of a wonderful association, to make my dream come true,” said Giard.
Smith, who travels daily from Cowansville to Bromont to take a bus into Montreal to pursue her studies at McGill University, shares the goal of working at the BMP hospital, as a registered nurse. She says the bursary eases the economic struggle.
“It is also huge motivation to continue to pursue my full-time studies and it showed me that there people who recognize my hard work,” Smith said, adding that she looks forward to working close to home and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. “It is important to me to become an active, working member of my community and give back.”
For Adank and Larouche, who are both in their second year of nursing studies at Champlain College Lennoxville and share a goal to work locally, it is family ties and a desire to also give back to their community that keeps them rooted close to home.
Adank calls the bursary a “gift that keeps on giving” noting that it will help him graduate then go on to support his community as a full-time nurse.
Having previously put her studies on hold for a year to go back to work, Larouche welcomes the opportunity the bursary presents to continue her education without interruption. She also credits it for helping her strike a balance between raising a family and continuing her education, something she hopes to can carry into her nursing career.
“We have realized how much a healthy and thriving community is essential to our family’s balanced way of life,” said Larouche. “I also feel drawn to working in an area where there will be room for innovation when addressing health issues at various levels.”
The McGill Health and Social Services Community Leadership Bursary Program is open to all bilingual speaking, full-time university, cégep/college or secondary/vocational school students in the Estrie or Montérégie-East who are studying in health and social service programs. Two categories of awards are available, Category 1 is for students studying outside their region and Category 2 is for students studying within their region.
Scholarship applications will be accepted again in 2016. For details and criteria visit topportunity.ca/student-bursaries/ and follow Townshippers’ Association on Facebook for the 2016 application deadlines.
About Townshippers’ Association
Townshippers’ Association is a non-profit, non-partisan community organization that has been serving the English-speaking community of the historical Eastern Townships, since 1979. For more on the Association and its activities, connect online at Townshippers.org or contact Townshippers’ in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen St. 819-566-5717, toll free: 1-866-566-5717 or in Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd. 450-242-4421, toll free: 1-877-242-4421.
Communications Officer, Townshippers’ Association
819-566-5717 (toll free 1-866-566-5717), [email protected]
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