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Mayor’s Student Bursary programs grant $16,000 this year

July 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Eight graduates from Banting Memorial and St. Thomas Aquinas have received $2,000 each from the municipality to help pay for their post secondary schooling this fall.

The funds were announced at last Monday night’s Council meeting, where Councillors presented the cheques to students virtually over Zoom.

The money donated to youth is sourced from the New Tecumseth’s Mayor Student Bursary program, which is raised during the Town’s annual charity rodeo.

Mayor Rick Milne, who created the program, said it’s not only about supporting youth, the program is also meant to create a brighter future for everybody.

“The youth are our future and we got to prepare our youth for the future because they’re going to be running our communities and our municipalities,” he said.

This year’s winners were Maria Kothari, Natalie Rabiega, Clayson Goymour, Karen Wang, Niya McRae, Tiana Giles, Willow Dedels and Sam Butterworth.

Mayor Milne said he’s glad this year’s presentation of bursaries could happen virtually, but it’s unfortunate the youth couldn’t be recognized face to face.

“When you can see the actual smile on their face, the happy look that we’ve helped them in some way for their education, for their career, it’s one of the things I always look forward to,” he noted.

The students selected for the bursary write an essay to apply outlining why they wish to pursue the scholarship and submit a transcript of the post secondary institution they’re enrolled at this fall. Any Grade 12 student who attends Banting Memorial or St. Thomas Aquinas and is looking for financial assistance can apply.

Meanwhile, the rodeo fundraiser that makes the bursaries possible each year, in part, was created to give the residents of New Tecumseth a family friendly event, according to Mayor Milne.

“In my family, family was a big thing – I grew up on a farm, we would have family get togethers, and it was great,” he said.

“As I got older and matured, I found the family circle was breaking up and there wasn’t that family get together in the community. This is one of the things that kind of brings that back.”

Through the rodeo fundraiser, which typically raises around $50,000 annually, basketball courts were built in Tottenham, Alliston, and Beeton following the Toronto Raptors winning the NBA Championship in 2019. Mayor Milne said he pushed for this project because basketball is a relatively low barrier activity for youth.

“With baseball, hockey, soccer – you have to be pretty good, but basketball – everybody pretty well knows how to bounce a ball,” he said.

“The courts were being used quite a bit, so that was another thing for youth, get them to exercise, get them away from the computers and get them back into nature.”

Mayor Milne said he’s very grateful for all the support Council has provided him with since starting the Mayor’s Student Bursary Program and he looks forward to seeing it run again in 2021.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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