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Students making a difference

Terrace, BC, April 22, 2014 – Social Service Worker (SSW) students at Northwest Community College (NWCC) have decided to launch a bursary fund for future students in their field.

As part of a Community Development course, second year SSW students were asked to develop a project that would have a positive impact on a specific community. The class chose to focus their efforts on the social work community in Northwestern BC, made up of professionals and students.

They started with a needs assessment survey to past and current SSW students and workers to identify important issues they are facing. Financial stress was the reoccurring theme in the survey results.

The project has two goals. First, to raise awareness about the need for more certified social service workers in Northwestern BC. Second, to help increase access to the required post-secondary education for those pursuing this profession.

Upon further discussion, the group of students decided to raise money towards creating several $250 bursaries for next year’s SSW students at NWCC.

“It’s a great feeling knowing we are going to be making a difference in the lives of the future students in our program,” said Tracy Spencer, SSW diploma student.

To date, the SSW students have raised more than $1,800. Contributors to the bursary fund who donated more than $75, were given a print by a local artist. SSW fundraising efforts are ongoing, so donations are still being accepted.

“We passionately believe that better educated and less financially burdened social workers equal a healthier community,” said Julie Mahil, SSW diploma student.

Recognizing the value of continuing support for SSW education in the region, the BC Association of Social Workers (BCASW) has agreed to be involved so as to ensure the longevity of this bursary.

During the 2014/15 school year, all first year SSW students will be eligible to apply for a bursary.

About NWCC
Northwest Community College (NWCC) is an accredited post-secondary institution offering comprehensive education and training to 34 urban, rural and remote communities in northwestern BC. Through an innovative distributed learning model that includes nine campuses and learning centres, current technology, mobile units, and successful partnerships, NWCC brings relevant education and training directly to where it is needed. NWCC is a recognized leader in Aboriginal education where Aboriginal people make up roughly 40 per cent of the student body. NWCC celebrates the diversity of its northern and Aboriginal populations and reflects this in its programs, services and workforce. To learn more, visit nwcc.bc.ca.

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For more information contact:

Sarah Zimmerman
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Northwest Community College
office: 250.638.5494 or cell: 250.631.7654
1.877.277.2288 (Toll Free)
szimmerman@nwcc.bc.ca

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