The financial pressure on Mandy Mabe and her family is a bit lighter these days. The second-year Bachelor of Nursing student at Lethbridge College was recently chosen as one of 20 recipients of the Colleges and Institutes Canada Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary Program.
The $5,000 bursary provides support to students across Canada who demonstrate financial need and are facing challenges or barriers to participating in and completing post-secondary education. It’s the second time a Lethbridge College student has received the award.
Mabe got the exciting news last month and says the bursary will dramatically improve her financial situation.
“Financial stress, as I work toward my Nursing degree, is significant,” she says. “My wife frequently works overtime shifts and sacrifices time with our family so we can make ends meet. Receiving this scholarship means more time together and more time for me to focus on my studies.”
Having been on her own since the age of 16, Mabe is no stranger to adversity. She worked two part-time jobs while attending high school to pay rent. Her grades suffered – slipping from honour roll to below average – and initial attempts to attend post-secondary fell short due to family and financial reasons. Coming out publicly as a gay woman, and the stress it caused on some personal relationships, also took a toll on her wellbeing.
Determined to bring love and light into her life, Mabe began volunteering with the Lethbridge Pride Society where she says she learned to love and accept herself. Several years later, and with the encouragement of her partner, Mabe enrolled at Lethbridge College and completed the academic upgrading she needed to be accepted into the Bachelor of Nursing program. “I want to become an ER nurse at Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital,” she says. “I’m on my way to realizing my dream of helping others.”
Mabe is one of many Lethbridge College students facing financial challenges on the path to achieve post-secondary and professional goals, says Marko Hilgersom, Registrar, Lethbridge College. “This $5,000 award should help alleviate some financial barriers and empower Mandy to continue to excel in her studies and in her future career as a registered nurse,” he adds. “This bursary has the potential to change Mandy’s life, which is exactly what Paul Charette had hoped for when he created the award with his wife, Gerri. Mandy’s story and how she’s using her education to help overcome barriers and challenges is really impactful.”
In addition to external bursaries like this one, more than $1 million in student awards are available to Lethbridge College students each year. Many of them are made possible thanks to generous individual, family, industry and organization donations. To learn more about creating a scholarship to help a student in need, go to lethbridgecollege.ca/give. For current and future students interested in learning more about applying for an award, scholarship or bursary, go to lethbridgecollege.ca/awards.