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Schroeder Foundation gift supports three UWinnipeg students

Dedicated philanthropists Maria and Walter Schroeder have continually sought to improve the lives of young Canadians. In an effort that hits close to home, the Schroeder Foundation has generously donated an initial gift of $150,000 to establish the Schroeder Foundation Scholarship, which will support Indigenous students from St. John’s High School in UWinnipeg’s Integrated Bachelor of Education program.

This commitment represents one of our largest annual gifts to date and supports what is sure to be one of UWinnipeg’s most impactful student awards.

Javier Schwersensky

The Schroeder’s, who both grew up in working-class neighborhoods, believe in supporting students and community members by helping fund their academic careers. It has been an important part of the Schroeder Foundation’s directive since its inception.

“Making sure promising students have the means to pursue their academic interests is central to our mission at UWinnipeg,” said Dr. James Currie, Interim President and Vice Chancellor. “We are grateful for the Schroeder Foundation’s generous gift and excited to further accessibility on our campus.”

Three inaugural recipients have been selected and have already begun their studies. The Schroeder Foundation will continue supporting these students throughout their degrees. The scholarships, which are valued at up to $30,000 in year one and up to $25,000 in subsequent years, are used to fund all education and living costs — ensuring that each student can make the most of their time at UWinnipeg without worrying about financial barriers.

“We are happy to see such kind gifts being used to help young adults recognize their scholastic potential,” said Javier Schwersensky, University of Winnipeg Foundation President and CEO. “This commitment represents one of our largest annual gifts to date and supports what is sure to be one of UWinnipeg’s most impactful student awards.”

“The Integrated Bachelor of Education program is one of UWinnipeg’s most popular streams and sees more than 100 graduates each year,” said Dr. Laurie-Ann Hellsten, Dean of Education. “Thanks to this tremendous gift, the recipients will be able to dedicate a greater portion of their time and effort towards succeeding in their studies.”

The Integrated Bachelor of Education program is unique in that it enables students to work towards two degrees concurrently, allowing those who make an early commitment to teaching to begin studying Education within their first two years at UWinnipeg. The program sees students complete both a major and minor teaching subject, after which they can work towards full certification while gaining real-world classroom experience through practicum beginning in their second year.

The University of Winnipeg looks forward to celebrating the success of the inaugural scholarship recipients with the Schroeder Foundation and working together to support future awardees from St. John’s High School.

Meet the Inaugural Schroeder Foundation Scholarship Recipients: 

Alex Joe:  Before this scholarship, I was considering not pursuing post-secondary studies due to the heavy financial burden. I struggled to navigate the systems related to pursuing post-secondary and felt overwhelmed, though I had a lot of support. This opportunity has without a doubt reduced the amount of barriers I had to pursing my dream. I will be studying chemistry, biology and education. After I graduate, I hope to be a substitute science teacher while attending medical school. I hope to encourage Indigenous youth in having a love of science as my mother has for me. She has often told me that our ancestors were the first scientists on this continent and hold incredible knowledge that is invaluable. I wish to be a good ancestor to the youth of the future.

Jewles Morrissette:  I went into my final year of high school not knowing where I’d end up after graduating. I was told there was a scholarship for Indigenous students looking to become future educators, so with a little help from the community and a great deal of support from my family, I was able to push myself and get the grades needed to receive this scholarship. I have always had trouble recognizing my own potential, so when I was awarded this scholarship, I was finally able to see what other people saw in me and what I was capable of when I believed in myself.

I was never close to my culture growing up, but when I started learning about my heritage and who I am, I realized that I wanted to share my findings and educate other young adults about their own indigenous culture and people. In order to make the most of these goals, I have chosen to major in Indigenous History and minor in Indigenous Language while attending UWinnipeg.

Tierra Ducharme:  This scholarship has given me the opportunity to continue my studies from high school to university without the stress of student debt. I was the first child of my immediate family to attend university right after high school, let alone graduate on time. My siblings and I have faced many hardships growing up, and this gives me the chance to prove that victims of intergenerational trauma can break the cycle. I can be different. I can do better.

I am enrolled in the Faculty of Education. My high school experience influenced my decision of pursuing education, and it was also a dream job I had growing up. I would like to teach English and psychology. After graduation I hope to travel, and start my career.

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