Inspired to pay it forward

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Deep gratitude. That’s what Joshua Akinleye feels when he thinks about receiving the Ujamaa Bursary in 2021. A General Management diploma student, Joshua’s educational journey received a tremendous boost when he was able to worry less about money and could focus more on his studies.

Established by the College of the Rockies’ Faculty Association (CORFA) in 2021, in recognition of Black History Month, the Ujamaa Bursary was named for one of the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. This Bursary splits a $1,500 award between up to three applicants from the Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour (BIPOC) community to use toward education-related or living expenses. Students from all programs are eligible but they must have attended classes at the College for at least one semester and plan to attend classes in the following semester.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the Faculty Association for making the Ujamaa Bursary possible,” Joshua said. “I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honour and am deeply appreciative of the support. The financial assistance I received has been a great help to me in paying my educational expenses and it allows me to concentrate more on my academics.”

Receiving the Ujamaa Bursary did more than help Joshua out financially, it also provided inspiration for him.

“I promise I will work very hard and eventually give back to others, possibly through a scholarship for future students like myself,” he said. “In the meantime, I hope the Ujamaa Bursary will continue to be available for BIPOC students and those who come from less developed countries to College of the Rockies.”

More information about the Ujamaa Bursary, and other available scholarships and bursaries can be found at: cotr.ca/financial-aid.