A Georgian nursing student is receiving a special gift of support, thanks to a scholarship in remembrance of the victims of the Ukrainian airliner crash in Iran on Jan. 8, 2020. The Remembrance Scholarships are funded by the Government of Ontario.
Victims of the crash included 57 Canadians of which 34 were employed at or studying in an Ontario university or college. Ontario provided funding for 57 one-time scholarships – each valued at $10,000 – with Georgian receiving one to award in the 2020-2021 academic year.
Jennifer Webber, a single mother who’s in her first year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSCN) degree program at Georgian was the successful recipient of the scholarship. Jennifer, who lives in Barrie, was overwhelmed upon hearing the news. “I was shocked and couldn’t believe it, then the tears started to flow,” she says. “Receiving this scholarship means I can focus on my school work and not worry if I’ll be able to move on to the next semester. Being chosen shows me that I’m on the right path and has encouraged me to keep pushing, even harder now.”
Jennifer chose the nursing field because she wanted to help people. “There are very few careers in the world where you see people on their worst day, and can somehow help them,” she says. “I feel as though I’m a strong person, and being a nurse will put me in the right position to help make someone’s worst day hopefully a little better.” She hopes to work in northern communities that don’t have access to health care after she graduates.
“There are no words to express how grateful I am,” adds Jennifer. “The Remembrance scholarship is something positive to come out of a tragedy. I feel so sorry for those who lost a family member, but I also feel incredibly privileged and will do everything in my power to do something good with this opportunity.”
Georgian thought it was important to include a member of the local Iranian community to help choose the recipient. Ali Khonsari, Vice President of Image Dental Laboratory in Barrie, and a member of Georgian’s Board of Governors was part of the selection committee and said he was honoured to contribute.
“The Remembrance Scholarship gives us hope that the world will keep changing for the better,” says Ali who is also a Georgian alumnus. “This scholarship does exactly that…it changes the recipient’s life for the better and I’m very happy for Jennifer.”
Georgian welcomes students from over 85 countries, resulting in as many as 4,500 international students studying in a variety of programs annually, including close to 40 students from Iran over the past few years.
Georgian students were required to apply as part of the competitive process to be selected. Students were assessed based on financial need, academic merit and exceptional community/extracurricular involvement.
This program is funded by the Government of Ontario.