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Kwantlen’s Giving Tuesday campaign raising funds for Indigenous students

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:03 PST, Fri November 25, 2022

Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) third annual Giving Tuesday campaign will be celebrating the resilience of KPU’s Indigenous students.

“Much like our first two Giving Tuesday campaigns, this year’s appeal will focus on supporting students who have overcome many barriers and challenges in pursuing their academic careers,” says Randall Heidt, chief executive officer of the KPU Foundation. “Indigenous students in particular have faced and overcome much to pursue post-secondary education and we are thrilled to work with our Indigenous Student Services team to bring to you a campaign that celebrates these students’ resilience and success.”

This year, the KPU Foundation hopes to raise more than $175,000 by the end of day on Nov. 29 to support Indigenous students.

“We are truly thankful to our donors for providing gifts that will help Indigenous students with the financial means to achieve their dreams and celebrate their successes. Your support ensures that there are awards available to them. hay cxʷ q̓ə,” says Gayle Bedard, associate vice president of Indigenous Leadership, Innovations, and Partnerships at KPU, finishing with the Coast Salish word for thank you.

Philanthropist Jim Bennett has donated $60,000 to this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign. This gift will provide a $3,000 scholarship each year in perpetuity. 

“Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to give this gift. It will help high school students start their post-secondary journey at Kwantlen Polytechnic University,” says Bennett.

Over the past couple of years during Giving Tuesday, KPU Foundation raised almost $230,000, which includes KPU matching dollars, for students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and students who have faced barriers, such as students with a disability, students of colour, Indigenous students, LGBTQ2S+ students, and mature students. The money raised is helping more than 230 students with awards and bursaries.

This year’s KPU Giving Tuesday image was created by KPU Indigenous Fine Arts student Sylvia Simpson. Her artwork is titled Resilience and features the strawberry flower, which she remembers her great-grandmother sewing onto regalia she designed, to symbolize growth and new beginnings.

“When designing this image, I thought about how I have always been in awe of the random flower that would grow in an unexpected area, and this reminds me of resilience. In the strawberry leaf, you will see the salmon egg, another representation of strength, stability, growth, and resilience. The background is stone representing harsh conditions, but the flower is still growing,” says Simpson.

Learn more about Giving Tuesday at KPU and how to donate.

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