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Local Politicians Aid Northwest Community College Students

A donation to Northwest Community College (NWCC) from Skeena MLA Robin Austin, in memory of an old friend, will soon benefit a deserving student in the Social Service Worker program. Austin has donated $7,500 to NWCC's endowment fund to commemorate Stacey Campbell, a woman who started her studies at NWCC and overcame many challenges to complete a Bachelor of Social Work degree. The College contributed to Austin's donation with an additional $2,500. While the principal of the NWCC endowment fund are never spent, the interest generated each year is used to assist student financially in the form of grants and scholarships. The interest from Austin and the College's combined donation has resulted in a new $500 bursary, the Stacey Campbell Memorial Bursary, which will now be available to a NWCC Social Service Worker student within the Skeena riding each year. "Stacey was from Kitwanga so all that mattered to me was the money went to a Social Service Worker student in the Skeena riding," said Austin. "I'm hoping this bursary will be able to help a worthy, hard working student accomplish his or her dream of becoming a social worker." Austin hopes to donate another $7,500 to the fund before the end of 2008 and the College will again add another $2,500 in an effort to raise the principal to a sum that can sustain an award of $500 or more. Austin and the college hope their contributions will encourage others to do the same. "The final bursary amount will be about five per cent of the total donations" Austin said. "By the time I have made my second donation, I'm hoping the College will have received $20,000 to $25,000 in donations." A principal sum of $20,000 or more would enable the College to either increase the existing bursary amount or offer more than one bursary. Funding is a key reason many students do not pursue a post-secondary education so the value and number of awards available is important. Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan also made a donation to NWCC, presenting a $1,000 cheque to College President Stephanie Forsyth and Dean of Continuing Education and Industry Training Margo Van Der Touw on Feb. 23, 2008. The contribution will support students entering the College's School of Exploration and Mining. Cullen volunteered the money at last year's Minerals North Conference in Terrace when he offered to match funds raised for the College's exploration and mining programs by the conference's participants. "Lack of funding is a major barrier for many post-secondary students so donations such as these make a significant difference," said NWCC President Stephanie Forsyth. "The establishment of endowment funds is critical to expanding the workforce of the northwest."

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