First Chantal Kreviazuk Opportunity Fund Bursary awarded

WINNIPEG, MB – Tracy Benjoe says she was “shocked and grateful” to learn she’s receiving the inaugural Chantal Kreviazuk Opportunity Fund Bursary. Benjoe, who is an adult learner with a nine-year old child, receives $1,000 to help her do the groundwork to one day become a teacher.

Benjoe grew up on the Saskatchewan reserve of Muscowpetung near Regina, and worked as a secretary.  She returned to school to get a college diploma in social work, and now has her heart set on a career in education. She is planning to take classes through UWinnipeg’s Winnipeg Education Centre which specifically offers an Education degree tailored to the needs and challenges of the inner city. “The bursary really helps, it means I will be able to take more courses this spring,” she says.

The Chantal Kreviazuk Opportunity Fund Bursary was established in March 2014 as Kreviazuk received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award at the Juno awards and an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Winnipeg. She is a graduate of UWinnipeg’s Collegiate and in 2006, was instrumental in helping UWinnipeg launch the Opportunity Fund, which helps to ensure that everyone, regardless of background and socioeconomic status, has access to higher education and opportunities.  It is specifically designed to assist Aboriginal students, people from war-affected nations and refugee populations and students from inner-city neighborhoods.

Just over $3.4 million has been raised and 1,765 fast track bursaries (as of Oct 2014) have been awarded to students in financial need through the Opportunity Fund.

Benjoe says it is also an honour because she is a fan of Kreviazuk’s music. “My favourite is Far Away, from her album Colour Moving and Still.”

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Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E:



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