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Why Give | Impact stories

Daring to dream: A future in healthcare is not so far away

Stober Foundation scholarship support enables William Rodriguez to pursue his passion for human kinetics and aspire to a career in physiotherapy.

For William Rodriguez, UBC Okanagan is more than just a university—it’s a place to pursue a passion.

His love for sports and fitness led William to the field of human kinetics, where he delves into the intricacies of human physiology, anatomy and movement.

“I chose human kinetics because of my passion for sport—I just love being fit and healthy. For me, it just regulates my whole person, mood, and energy levels, and I wanted to learn more about that,” says William.

His decision to attend UBC Okanagan was also influenced by the proximity to home.

“I grew up here in the Okanagan,” says William. “My family moved from Mexico when I was born—initially to Victoria—and then once I was two years old, we moved here to Summerland, BC, and I’ve been here since. I’ve been going to UBC Okanagan and will enter my fourth year next semester.”

One of the pivotal moments in William’s academic journey was receiving the Stober Foundation Undergraduate Entrance Award in Human Kinetics. The award significantly eases the financial burden of his education—and the moment he received the award is vivid in his memory.

“I couldn’t believe it! I remember I was on a mountain bike ride with a friend of mine. I had her read the email for me—because I thought it was a mistake,” says William. “When I told my parents, they were very proud—which also made me very happy.”

The Stober Foundation award has transformed his time at UBC, giving William the much-needed time to focus on his degree.

“It’s allowed me to spend more time in my studies instead of going out to look for jobs and working during my studying,” William acknowledges, highlighting the award’s impact on his academic focus and performance.

With this support comes words of gratitude from William to the Stober family.

“I’m extraordinarily grateful for your generosity. You’ve given students, such as myself, who need financial aid, an opportunity to prosper and have a more financially stable future—with more positive mental wellbeing.”

Looking farther ahead, William plans to pursue a career in physiotherapy, recognizing the increasing demand for healthcare professionals in Canada—particularly with the aging population. Soon, his plans will take him far from his Okanagan roots.

“I will have a semester abroad next year through UBC’s Go Global program. I will attend the University of Queensland in Brisbane, and I’m very excited about that,” says William. “I chose Australia because I’m very curious about their culture. I’ve been in the Okanagan for most of my life.”

Thanks to the Stober Foundation, William dares to dream about a future for himself that was not possible before.

If you would like to support amazing students like William, please give to the FORWARD for Students Fund.