By Linda Scales
“Scholarships help a lot. It’s good that students can be rewarded for the hard work we put into our studies.” – Bianca Jeanveaux, fourth-year arts and education student
Scholarships can help make big dreams become reality. Take 22-year old aspiring teacher Bianca Jeanveaux of Gatineau, who’s closer than ever to achieving her goal thanks to some help from uOttawa’s Employee Giving program. Jeanveaux is graduating this spring from the second-language teaching program offered jointly by the faculties of Arts and Education. Afterwards, she plans to pursue a two-year master’s in education at uOttawa.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher, so when I heard about the program for teaching French as a second language, I wanted to go to uOttawa,” says Jeanveaux, who hopes to teach at either the college or university level.
Jeanveaux has received three uOttawa Merit Scholarships, awarded each term to undergraduate students for academic excellence. Since 2016, these scholarships have been funded by the University and by private donors, in some cases through the Employee Giving program.
“Having the scholarships helps me concentrate more on school, because I don’t have to work as much and can put more time into studying,” says Jeanveaux, a part-time employee in the Faculty of Arts’ Alumni Relations Office. “It’s encouraging to know the University supports students who have good grades.”
Investing in society
Employee Guillaume Cossette remembers how he felt about a scholarship he received as a university student. “It had an impact on my quality of life, lowered my stress level and somewhat boosted my pride and self-esteem,” says Cossette, manager of marketing, communications and development for the Faculty of Arts. “It was also a matter of feeling that someone believed in me. It was empowering.”
Today, he volunteers as a member of the program’s cabinet, although he started supporting the Employee Giving program soon after starting his job at uOttawa in 2013. “To me, it’s a matter of being part of a community, of something bigger than me,” he says. “The very reason why I have an interesting and stimulating job is because of students. They are at the core of what we do. Investing in them will always be a great investment for society.”
The Employee Giving program plays an integral role in uOttawa’s Defy the Conventional Campaign. Every day, faculty, staff and retirees give of their time and energy to help students reach their academic goals. Employees can donate by logging into VirtuO.