WINNIPEG, MB –Autumn Monkman and Kyla-Alexis Bailey will proudly receive high school diplomas this week and both 18 year-olds are continuing their studies in September at The University of Winnipeg.
The Model School at The University of Winnipeg Convocation takes place Wednesday, May 11th at 7:30 pm in the Duckworth Centre. Eight students are graduating this year, which brings the total number of graduates to 51 since the school was founded in 2008. The philosophy is to provide individualized supports for students and remove barriers so that each may achieve their full potential.
Monkman, who is Ojibwe with ties to the Ebb and Flow First Nation and Peguis First Nation, is the eldest of five children and says she is trying to set a good example.” I tell my siblings to stay in school and focus on sports,” she says. One of her sisters is in grade 10 at the Model School. “There is good support here, and it feels like family.” Monkman was named the Varsity Girls Athlete of the year and volunteers as a basketball coach for the Anishinawbe Pride girls’ team. She has earned $2,700 towards her tuition at UWinnipeg through the Opportunity Fund and has a clear career goal. “I want to become a teacher for pre-teens.”
Bailey, originally from Bermuda, won the Jim Henderson Sportsmanship Award in recognition of educator James Henderson. The award goes to a student who has made a significant contribution to athletics and has attained high academic achievement. Bailey is also receiving $2,700 in earned Opportunity Fund assistance. Influenced by TV shows such as CSI, she is entering the Faculty of Science with a goal of becoming a forensic scientist. “Having attended the Model School really helps because it has a university feel and we are already on campus so I know where everything is and how to manage.”
Of the eight graduates this year, five are attending UWinnipeg in the fall and one will be attending college in Australia. The other two graduates are working to complete their course requirements for university entrance.
The Opportunity Fund seeks specifically to support Indigenous students, new Canadians and refugees, and students from inner-city neighbourhoods, through fast-track bursaries and tuition credits. Most recently, it also provides tuition waivers to youth leaving the child welfare system, a program pioneered at UWinnipeg now being replicated across the country. More than 52 students have benefited from the Tuition Waiver program since 2012 (as of May 2015).
Just over $3.4 million has been raised and 1,845 fast track bursaries (as of May 2015) have been awarded to students in financial need, supporting more than 250 UWinnipeg graduates to date.
The Model School at The University of Winnipeg Collegiate provides students with a pathway to prepare for post-secondary education. Students enrolled in the program are from backgrounds that have traditionally been under-represented in both high school and post-secondary graduation rates. They are recommended by public school educators or non-profit organizations as being bright and capable of university entrance with the right supports. Since its inception in 2008, the Model School has had 51 students graduate from grade 12, with 75% going on to post-secondary educations (38 students).
Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: firstname.lastname@example.org