Camosun student starts bursary program for low-income students

The Jor-Dawn Smith Bursary will go to one Greater Victoria graduate in spring 2020

Camosun sociology student Jor-Dawn Smith is putting theory into practice by starting a community bursary fund for low-income high school students in Greater Victoria.

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Professor Francis Adu-Febiri challenged Smith’s introductory sociology class to move away from abstract theory to apply knowledge gained from the course in real life. Smith decided she wanted to go big for her Service Learning Project by starting a bursary fund she hopes to keep going for many years to come.

Smith said she will be writing a cheque to one Greater Victoria student at the end of the school year. It will go to a student from a low-income background who is passionate about furthering their education but faces significant financial barriers to doing so.

“My belief is education should be an international right,” Smith said. “Just because you’re less privileged in terms of finances shouldn’t mean you don’t get to have a chance to advance your education.”

To gather donations for the fund, Smith is taking a multi-pronged approach. She started a fundraiser with a goal of raising $3,000 on Facebook, $170 of which she has already raised. She will also be collecting funds via a donation box at the Victoria Public Market, where she sells products from her small canning business.

Additionally, the public will have an opportunity to donate for a good laugh at an event she’s planning at Heckler’s Bar and Grill for Jan. 3, 2020. Tickets are $20, and if bought directly through Smith, $12.50 from each ticket will go towards the bursary fund.

Smith said she has been in touch with principals and counsellors at Greater Victoria high schools to seek nominations for the student who will receive the bursary in spring 2020. She said she hopes she can raise much more than she anticipated, with the help of the community.

Adu-Febiri said this is a reflection of what he hoped to teach his students in sociology classes. “I’m really happy for her,” Adu-Febiri said. “Education is the key for people to make their lives better.”

READ ALSO: Sip and savour a few brews to help build a new playground at Camosun daycare

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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