“The women of today stand on the shoulders of the women of yesterday, and these are the women of yesterday who lead this society.”
For the past 80 years, the Canadian Consortium of North Bay University has helped women in the community obtain their educational degrees with an annual scholarship.
“We give it to students at University of Nipsing, Canador College and local high schools,” said Co-Chair and Head of the 80th Anniversary Scholarship Natalie Brunet
“It’s really important for us all to see and feel the benefit of donating this money, and with Shannon Hood showing it today, we really understand the importance of the scholarship.”
Hood was unable to attend the event at the North Bay Museum on Wednesday afternoon, but sent in a video message saying, “I am honored to receive the Canadian Federation of Women’s Universities Scholarship. Your selection has filled me with so much pride and so much gratitude, and your generosity has allowed me to continue my studies.” at the University of Nipsing where I proudly entered my first year in the criminal justice program. I want to thank everyone who participated for this wonderful honor and I am very grateful to you.”
In 1941, 13 women, including a principal teacher from North Bay Normal School, came together to raise issues of social, economic, and legal status about women in the North Bay area, focusing on seeing these women achieve higher education.
Brunet says the club had more than 100 local members in its heyday, while today it has more than 50.
“We still have the same three values that started all of this 80 years ago,” says the brunette that includes;
– The pursuit of knowledge
– advancing education
Improving the situation of women and human rights
Several previous award winners attended Wednesday’s ceremony, including Bonnie Ronon, who won her scholarship in the 1980s.
“She really supported me. I was a mature student with two young children at home and it really helped me to buy books and help me continue my studies,” says Ruinon who has both a BA and a BA. He continued to work in the field of education for thirty years.
“Not only does it help you financially, but it also helps your self-esteem. Being chosen to receive a scholarship really gives you encouragement to move forward with your studies,” she says.
President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Kevin Wamsley was the guest speaker on Wednesday, and says this is an important group that needs to be in the community.
The University of Nipsing is the University of North Bay. We serve all of Ontario and other parts of Canada but this university must be a central part of the community and must serve the community. So when we have that community connection, which supports student entry into our university, that’s really important.”
He adds that students need help because university enrollment is very expensive and that is what makes scholarships so important.
Wamsley says this group of women opens doors for the next generation.
“The women of today stand on the shoulders of the women of yesterday and these are the women of yesterday who are moving forward in this society, so they are role models for the rising young women and they have opened up opportunities that weren’t there before,” says Wassley.
Telia Carrière, owner of Tickled Teals Entertainment, is another former recipient. She says, “When I received a $500 scholarship, I helped cover one of the last courses to get my degree. It was a really big surprise because it was the money I put aside for my studies and then with the one course paid off I had a little extra money for myself To spend it on other books and other school supplies which were really appreciated.”
Carrier says these types of organizations show students that the community is there to support them.
“I am constantly being asked to come back to these events and award ceremonies, and it is great to be part of this community that supports other people, but they also support me, become clients of my business and it is just a welcome support from the community.”
And the fact that they are specifically looking to help women pursue their passions is something that should not be overlooked.
Nipissing is special because 70 percent of the women are enrolled there, but I wasn’t part of a degree where the majority were women. A lot of business programs consist mainly of men and scholarships and awards are geared toward higher education for men who are entering internships, so it’s great to have a scholarship specifically for women.”
“It is a pleasure to talk to any of the members and how they appreciate the scholarship initiative,” says Rwenon. “We do many things but first and foremost is our support and learning of people, whether it is at the high school level or the college level, and we have even supported people In the past who were in care like CAS (Children’s Aid Society) and didn’t. They don’t have a family of support around them, and we felt it was important to encourage them to continue as well.”
Brunette adds, “The exciting part is that this organization is open to any woman whether she has a college degree or not. We really encourage anyone who believes in our three values to come and check out our screening, and we’d love to hear from you.”
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