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BC Housing education awards presented

Four Kelowna residents are recipients of BC Housing education awards that will help them further their education, achieve goals and improve their lives.

Jessica Donaldson, a 27-year-old single mother, student and former addict, has only one year to go before she completes her bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Donaldson will be using her $750 bursary to alleviate some of the financial pressures during the upcoming semester.

Marriana Chen is the proud recipient of a $750 bursary. Chen made the decision to leave Taiwan and immigrate to Canada in 2010 along with her two children in search of a better life for her family.

She was a public elementary school teacher in Taiwan and is now working to become re-certified so she can continue her career as a teacher in B.C.

Anyone in British Columbia who is living in subsidized housing, or receiving rent subsidy through BC Housing’s Rental Assistance Program, is eligible to apply for one of the 83 bursaries and awards.

The funds can be put toward tuition or other educational expenses such as books or supplies.

BC Housing launches the Education Awards Program in January of each year.

“Pursuing educational opportunities is not about becoming a new person, but sometimes becoming the person you were meant to bes,” said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick.

“I would like to congratulate all the recipients in our community, not just for the $750 bursary, for working toward their potential and persevering through challenges to pursue their goals,” Letnick said.

Donaldson said for some time, she felt unable to find her way in life.

“For many years, I felt as if I didn’t fit in anywhere. I took a wrong turn and I wound up on the streets of Vancouver,” she recalled.

“I was close to death and only eighty pounds when I finally came to my senses and decided to get clean. As a single mother and former addict, I know that I’m destined to work in the field of social service.

“This bursary will help me get closer to completing my studies and closer to my career goals.”

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