Gifts to Cap are powerful and make amazing things happen. The following are just a few examples of the life changing impact our donors’ gifts have on our students, our campuses and both our local and global communities.
When you’ve sung for the Queen and the Dalai Lama and been nominated for a Juno Award, you might not expect your next step to be returning to university. But Cap U Music Therapy student Sherryl Sewepagaham is glad she took that step. A founding member of Asani, the Edmonton-based Aboriginal women’s singing trio, she continues to perform with them when she can, while working on her Bachelor of Music Therapy degree and being a mom to her 13-year-old son.
After receiving her Bachelor’s in Education at the University of Alberta, Sherryl taught music in Edmonton elementary schools for 14 years. Then Edmonton Catholic Schools asked her to present a holistic side of music from a First Nations perspective. “I instantly knew I needed to pursue this,” says Sherryl, who is Cree-Dene. “It seemed like a calling for me.” An internet search led her to Cap U’s music therapy program.
“To tell you the truth, it was a big shock to go back to school after 14 years. All the technology had changed and I had to re-learn how to research, how to study, how to write papers, and how to organize myself.” But her instructors and her younger classmates supported her, as did the staff, students, and elders at Cap U’s Kéxwusm-áyakn First Nations Student Centre. “I immersed myself in the cultural activities at the Centre, and [First Nations advisors] Clay [Little] and David [Kirk] became great supporters. When my younger brother passed away a year ago, Elder Ernie George was at the centre and prayed for me and my family.”
The recipient of several awards and bursaries funded by generous Cap U donors, including the Kempo Family Award and the Violet Feist Inspirational Spirit Award, Sherryl says, “Without the financial support I received, I honestly would not have made it through the program. To the donors, I want to say thank you for your incredible support of students in our journeys to success and achievement.”
Now in her final semester at Cap U, Sherryl is serving in two internships, using her music therapy skills with women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and with seniors at a long-term care facility. After graduating in April she plans to pursue certification as a music therapist and work with children with special needs and seniors.
A little extra sunshine visited the Sunshine Coast campus of Cap U on Thursday, January 19, when the Hopkins Branch of the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary presented a generous surprise gift to Cap U’s Health Care Assistant (HCA) students. Each of the 20 students at the Sechelt campus received $100 toward their studies.
“What an amazing group of people!” said one recipient. “I feel like they are invested in and supportive of us students.” Another said, “We have had a very challenging week and this unexpected gift makes it end on a high note.”
Thank you to the Hopkins Branch for their generous support of Cap U’s HCA students!
For most of us, pursuing a university degree full-time seems tough. Pursuing a university degree full-time, working full-time, and raising children seems impossible! Bachelor of Business Administration student Aram Mahigir is doing the impossible, with the help of the Cheryl Pateman Bursary. She is an inspiring example of the diverse range of students Cap U hosts.
Aram, her husband, and her two teenage daughters recently immigrated to Canada and the transition wasn’t easy. She and her husband, who is also a Cap U student working part-time, studied at the Masters level back home. Of course, working, studying, and raising a family is a unique challenge that can’t go unrecognized. At first, Aram did not know of the scholarships, bursaries, and awards available at Cap U. Aram says she “was at the edge of leaving school” before she found out about the Cheryl Pateman Bursary she had received. As she puts it, “This award means a lot to me and my family and made me smile again after a long time.”
Aram did not let the various obstacles she faced prevent her from achieving her dreams. She found a supportive community at Cap U and says, “Although I work full-time and study full-time, I do my best to keep my grades as good as possible.” Her love of learning makes her a dream for any teacher: “I love studying and really want to continue my education up to the Masters and PhD level.”
Back from studying abroad in Caen, France, this past spring with support from an ACDEG International Scholarship, marketing student Cheyenne Kuckein is making new plans. “There was such a wonderful international group of students in the program at
École de Management de Normandie, and I loved the beautiful French culture,” she says. “I’ve decided to go back for a year after graduation to become fluent in French.”.
After her classes in Caen ended, Cheyenne travelled on her own across Europe and as far as Latvia and Ukraine. Now she’s finishing up her final semester of classes at Cap U. As co-president of the
Capilano University Marketing Association (CAPUMA), she’s organized a first-ever participation in the American Marketing Association’s annual Marketing Week as well as several networking events linking students with digital marketing professionals. This semester she’s mentoring the new CAPUMA officers. Looking ahead, her dream is to be accepted into the
grad@Loblaw management training program in Toronto and work her way up to become a brand portfolio manager.
An outstanding student, Cheyenne has won several awards and scholarships during her time at Cap U, including the BlueShore Financial Business Award, the BMO Bank of Montreal Scholarship for Business Leadership, and the ACDEG International Scholarship that helped fund her studies in France. “I am incredibly grateful for the financial support I’ve received. It’s reassured me that I’m on the right path. Merci mille fois!”
Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, Capilano University is able to present scholarships, awards and bursaries. Bursaries are awarded based on financial need, and unlike loans they do not have to be repaid. Because bursaries are based on economic need, we maintain students' privacy. Here are a few thank you messages from bursary recipients demonstrating the effects of receiving donor funding.
“This bursary has been directly applied to my tuition for this upcoming semester. I feel this note does not do justice to how grateful I am for receiving this award and for how much it assisted me. It has allowed me to focus on school and I have excelled academically. I am so very grateful as it will help me achieve my dream of helping others as a Rehabilitation Assistant. Thank you for your generous support of my education.”
“This bursary has relieved me from the anxiety a lot of university students face when confronted with the true cost of working hard to afford school. The impacts of bursaries go far beyond their economic value. These funds have fueled my drive to complete my degree and to give back to the community.”
“I am not sure how to express my gratitude. As a parent of three, I was short for rent and thinking how we could manage when I received the bursary. I am not sure if I could complete my program without your help. Thank you very much.”
“I am a mature student working on my second year of the degree program. The generosity of supporters that believe in the success of Capilano students gives me the strength and determination to continue working on my goal and dream of finishing the Bachelor of Business Administration program.”
In Cap’s new Community Leadership and Social Change program, students learn the skills to be community leaders who bring positive change to their neighborhoods.
“In all our communities there are special people who give the place heart and soul. They contribute their time, ideas, and energy to reach out to each other and to create a better world,” says Kathy Coyne, an instructor in the program. That’s the kind of leader and facilitator the new program seeks to foster through courses in community development, leadership, facilitation, and project management. In their final year students put their skills to work in the real world, creating Capstone Projects focusing on an issue like literacy, food security, or health promotion. “It’s about fostering collaboration and dialogue, building capacity, and bringing real change to communities from the grass roots,” Coyne says.
The support provided by gifts like the George and Lee Grills Global Stewardship endowment are enabling students with diverse career goals to make a difference in their world.
Caity Basalama remembers how she felt after returning from her high school trip to Borneo where she worked as a volunteer. “People don’t tell you about the culture shock when you come back,” she says. Basalama eventually discovered Capilano’s Global Stewardship program and knew immediately what her next steps would be. “It was such an obvious fit,” she says. After her time at Cap, she spent four months in northern Uganda, then completed her bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University and an education degree at Simon Fraser University. Today Basalama teaches at an international school on the East African island of Zanzibar. “If I can instill in my students just a fraction of the global citizenship I learned at Cap,” she says, “I will be incredibly happy.”
Jeyna Plowman’s decision to return to school wasn’t easy, but with financial support from awards made possible by generous donors, she’s well on her way to a new career as an ultrasound technician.
After quitting school in grade 11 and working at a number of uninspiring jobs, Plowman realized she would need more education for a chance at a rewarding career. Her new goal--becoming an ultrasound technician--brought her to Cap’s Sunshine Coast campus, where she enrolled in the Adult Basic Education program to finish her high-school coursework before pursuing her technical training. The financial assistance she’s received from awards (Jim Duvall Memorial Award, Jim Cooke Award and Travis Cripps Memorial Award) has been invaluable, helping her to meet her school-related expenses and re-engage in an education that fits her needs as an adult learner.
A $6 million gift from the Bosa family to create a world-class centre for film and animation studies has already enabled hundreds of Cap students to fulfill their dream of entering the film world.
Motion Picture Arts grad Kyle Gest, now a wildly successful podcaster, is one of them. It was his passion for storytelling and screenwriting that led him to Cap, where he learned the sound design and post-production skills that enabled him to create The Lapse Storytelling Project, a podcast that topped iTunes charts only a few months after it launched. With legions of fans now, Gest says, “it’s so bizarre, it’s hard to put into words.” And every time he’s on a film set, he confirms the outstanding quality of Cap’s Motion Picture Arts program when he sees veterans on the set interacting with newly minted film grads. “Honestly,” he says, “Cap grads are the only ones that don’t get laughed at.”
Office of Development and Alumni Relations
Birch building, fourth floor
2055 Purcell Way
North Vancouver, B.C. V7J 3H5
Office hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday to Friday
Charitable Business Number: 11883 7756 RR0001
Capilano University | 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V7J 3H5 Tel: 604.986.1911
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310