Million Dollar Bursary Program

Kaitlyn Schrauwen, left, with Sonya Barker, Interior Savings’ Community Relations Coordinator.
Image Credit: Interior Savings Credit Union

Four years ago, Interior Savings Credit Union announced a bold intention to award $1 million every year for four years to help young students further their education. Yet, every year, money has been left on the table.  The Credit Union sees that changing this year.

According to Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings, it took a couple of years to get the word out to young students and families but they’re now seeing the program pick up steam, and quickly. Last year, they received just over 1000 applications from local students, 857 of which were approved to receive a $1000 bursary.

In fact, just last month, Interior Savings surpassed $1 million in awards since launching the program.  The one-thousandth recipient was Kaitlyn Schrauwen from Kamloops.  To celebrate this milestone, Interior Savings surprised Kaitlyn by doubling her bursary award.

Kaitlyn’s reaction, after a moment of stunned silence, was ecstatic. “This is the best news. I don’t even know what to say. I’ve had such a crazy week and with finals coming, I can’t tell you how much it means to have this great opportunity presented to me. This will definitely aid me in the pursuit of a career in medicine.”

Kaitlyn is enrolled in her first year of UBC Okanagan’s Bachelor of Science Program, working towards her Masters in Medicine so that she can become a GP or specialize in radiology.

“As a locally-based cooperative,” said Conway, “we measure our success by the success of our members and our communities.  This program, while representing a very large financial commitment, has the potential to make a real difference in educating and empowering our next generation of leaders and community builders.”

Students can apply for this bursary until May 1st, 2017 but the Credit Union is suggesting they don’t wait.  It’s only December and they have already received over 400 applications.

To qualify for the bursary is simple – you need only be between the ages of 17-24 and an active member of Interior Savings.  Not yet a member? Students have until February 1st to open up a no-fee chequing account at the Credit Union to be eligible.  Go online to learn more or to apply.

Conway added that in the last three years, every person who applied and met the eligibility criteria received a bursary.

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