BY MIGUEL MABILANGAN
Imagine being a foreigner who just landed in Canada and finding out how deep the contrast is, in terms of culture, values and institutions from the homeland. It’s an overwhelming feeling, but it can be overcome and the best way to do so is through education. Ashton College understands this struggle and that’s why they have begun the nomination period for this year’s Lillian To bursary, which is valued at $8,000 and four students will be given the opportunity to pursue their educational goals. The bursary is named in honor of Lillian To, the founder of the S.U.C.C.E.S.S organization- which provides a multitude of services to help immigrants settle in with their new environment and home.
The bursary is honoring the memory of the contributions and work of Lillian To, who tirelessly fought for the rights and opportunities for immigrants. This bursary is another one of To’s efforts to ensure that immigrants are given the fair chance to succeed. Colin Fortes the president of Ashton College says that “many new immigrants face financial barriers to their education. The bursary is our way of removing these barriers and celebrating their accomplishments. We feel that Lillian would be proud.”
A prevalent problem that immigrants face is the fact that their educational credentials are not recognized by institutions and companies. Even though they may have all the qualifications for a position, they still won’t be given the consideration, and are forced to resort to jobs that they did not intend to pursue when they immigrated. Ashton College realizes this and helps immigrants out by offering numerous program upgrade options for students who want to transfer their degrees, upgrade their skillsets or re-enter the workforce. They provide opportunities for immigrants to ensure that they are not left behind by the system and are able to become thriving members of Canadian society.
In order for students to be considered eligible to receive the bursary, they must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have arrived in the country for the first time in the past five years. Applicants are required to write a 500 word essay that details their future goals, purpose and financial situation and references must accompany it. The deadline for this year’s bursary is set at July 30th and is decided by an external four judge panel. Four bursaries will be officially awarded in September. For more information, please visit http://www.ashtoncollege.ca/2016-lilian-to-bursaries/, or contact Ashton Admissions either at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-628-5784.
Anyone who feels that they are in this immigrant situation and are looking for an opportunity, the Lillian To bursary could be the answer you need to advance yourself in this country. So many people from all around the world leave their homeland for Canada with hopes of opportunity and a better life. These dreams can be achieved and getting this bursary could be the start of it all.