“I was working three different part-time jobs, trying to support myself so that I could move back to Vancouver and make things easier on myself,” says Taylor Mckee, a psychology and music student. Fearing that she might not be able to complete her degree due to financial strain, Taylor was not able to fully immerse herself in the UBC community and campus life. But then she received an email that would change her life forever: Taylor became a recipient of the William and Nona Heaslip Scholarship, a donor-funded award that would eliminate the financial burden that she had carried for so long.
“Donor funding has really allowed me to lean in and give back to my community in a way that I would not be able to if I was having to focus on supporting myself financially,” says Taylor.
“Donor funding has allowed me to expand my horizons in a way that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do,” says Matthias Leuprecht, an international economics student. Another recipient of a life-changing scholarship, Matthias was able to take on new and exciting roles that would have been too much of a financial risk without support, opening his future to new opportunities.
“It’s made a world of difference to them. It’s made them more resilient,” says Henry Yu, associate professor and principal of St. Johns College. He describes the pandemic-influenced shift to online learning as being difficult for both students and faculty, as many faculty feared how their content would translate in an online environment, and students struggled to adjust to a new way of learning. But these worries were eased through the support of donors, allowing students and faculty to find new avenues to learn and create meaningful projects together.
Donor support is not just funding for our academic programs, it gives students the ability to grow into the leaders we know they can be, becoming the next generation of changemakers.