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NWCC Student Awarded Alberta Scholarship

Northwest Community College (NWCC) student Karen Plasway (formerly Karen Naziel) is one of 26 BC aboriginal students awarded an Alberta scholarship worth $2005. In celebration of their centennial year, the Alberta government is providing 25 annual scholarship awards to every province and territory in Canada - with the Ministry of Advanced Education adding one more scholarship to cover all 26 public institutions. Plasway is one of the first recipients of this newly created award. Currently enrolled in NWCC's Business Technology Online Office Assistant Certificate program, Plasway is a recently married mother of three living in Smithers. A member of Wet'suwet'en Gitumden Clan, much of Plasway's career had been spent working in the areas of forestry and fisheries. The onset of arthritis led her to Northwest Community College to prepare for a new line of employment. "I was very apprehensive about starting back to school and failing at it terribly, but I have proven myself very wrong, I can do this," explains Plasway. "I find myself helping my fellow students and really enjoying helping others. I plan on continuing on to the Accounting Certificate of the Business Technology Program with a long term goal of enrolling in NWCC's First Nations Public Administration Program." "Karen is an inspiration and role model for all students," remarks NWCC's Business Technology Program Coordinator, Sandy Clark. "Re-entering school from the workforce is a big adjustment both emotionally and financially. Karen has kept a positive attitude throughout her studies and her commitment and positivity has had a marked affect on her academic success." "Lack of financial aid is a significant barrier to post-secondary education for many students in our College region, and most especially within our First Nations communities. These scholarships play a vital role in giving our students the economic assistance they need to get the education and training required to access employment opportunities regionally and beyond," states NWCC President, Stephanie Forsyth. "We are very proud of Karen, not only for her success in being awarded the scholarship but for her commitment to reach her goals and becoming an important role model for other First Nations women." When asked what Plasway plans on doing with her scholarship, she replied: "I want to buy a laptop computer with which to continue my studies and purchase some office clothing appropriate to my new career."

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