Two Opportunity Fund Students Find Their Way at UWinnipeg

Robert Robinson is one of the many Opportunity Fund Students

Robert Robinson is a Opportunity Fund Student

WINNIPEG, MB – Robert Robinson, originally from Little Black River, MB, arrived in Winnipeg at the age of 17. He found his way to UWinnipeg after having an epiphany following an altercation with the law. “A part of me I didn’t know existed woke up,” explained Robinson. “I knew I had to do something to change my life. I spoke with (the late) Claudette Michell who worked at the University’s Selkirk Avenue location, and she got me enrolled in the Beginning University Successfully (BUS) program. Now, I am at UWinnipeg to continue my education and obtain a university degree.”

With Robinson’s first hand knowledge of the struggles people face living in the inner city, he is considering majoring in Urban and Inner-city Studies at UWinnipeg. His Opportunity fund bursary allowed him to focus on his studies.

Carlos Froese arrived from Brazil at a young age, completed high school and immediately went to work as a trucker. He later chose to pursue a post-secondary education and earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Development at The University of Winnipeg. With the support of an Opportunity Fund bursary, he followed that with a Project Management Diploma (PMD) from UWinnipeg’s Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) last spring. He plans to use his PMD in Africa doing development work.

“The Opportunity Fund allowed me to complete my studies without added financial strain,” expressed Froese. “I felt privileged to receive this with the guidance and assistance from UWinnipeg. I found their staff encouraging. I would strongly encourage others who want to pursue their education — but feel they don’t have the financial means — to look to UWinnipeg and the Opportunity Fund to help them pursue their dreams.”

Since its inception in 2007, UWinnipeg’s unique Opportunity Fund has provided more than 1,112 bursaries. The funds help youth and young adults, regardless of background and socio-economic status, attain access to post-secondary education. To date, more than $1.4 million has been invested in students and $71,000 still to be awarded this academic year.

UWinnipeg hosts the fourth annual I Heart UWinnipeg Dinner in support of the Opportunity Fund on Thursday, May 23, 2013. Find more on the dinner at uwinnipeg.ca/index/iheartuwinnipeg   Donations can be made throughout the year to The University of Winnipeg Foundation at uwinnipeg.ca/index/foundation

The Opportunity Fund is unique among Canadian universities. It aims to build a $10-million endowment that will bridge the graduation gap and transform lives. The fund includes Tuition Credits for K-12 students, Fast-Track Bursaries for university students, as well as Tuition Waivers for youth raised in the child welfare system. To learn more about the Opportunity Fund, visit uwinnipeg.ca/opportunity-fund.

MEDIA CONTACT

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7130, E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca
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