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June 1, 2011

What's in a name? The answer to this age-old riddle still conjures debate, but for the School of Access it's pretty clear. The names of the 28 awards totaling over $14,000 inspire reflection, trigger memories, and even evoke curiosity and laughter. For example, during his welcome to guests of the recent School of Access / Aboriginal Education & Community Connections awards ceremony, Songhees elder Butch Dick said he looked forward to meeting the recipient of the "In the Spirit of Laughter" award. He wasn't disappointed. Award recipient Jessie Peters, a full-time student and single mother of five, brightened the room with her smile as she accepted this award. Instructor Dianne Biin says, " In addition to everything else, Jessie brings light and humour to the classroom."

Education is the key to freedom

"Every one of the Access and AECC awards recognizes unique combinations of academic ability and personal attributes such as courage, optimism and the determination to overcome adversity to pursue post-secondary studies," says Dean John Boraas. This is because the School of Access and AECC is where adult students come to gain college entrance prerequisites, study English as a second language, develop effective study skills, and discover academic potential they don't realize they have. In short, the School of Access and AECC awards represent an extensive community of learners, educators and donors who believe in the inherent value of education—a powerful force that has the potential to transform lives and, by doing so, to significantly enrich communities.

Camosun College board of directors chair Lynda Farmer says, "Education really is the key to freedom. We are all part of enabling others to lead better lives and build better communities."

Lorri Leonard, an Indigenous College Prep student working towards becoming a school teacher, delivered the keynote address. "Camosun is so different from high school," says Leonard. "My Indigenous College Prep program was a safe place to explore and learn about my Aboriginal heritage. It was here that I met other amazing and talented students who helped me to grow past my fears and become a stronger person. It is with compassion, acceptance and support that we were all able to grow not only as individuals, but as a family."

Working together as one to inspire students

The awards ceremony took place at Na'tsa'maht, Camosun's beautiful Aboriginal gathering place. Na'tsa'maht is a Salish phrase meaning unity or working together as one. Mr. Dick says, "It does my heart good to see people gathered together to celebrate as one." Jo-Anne Silverman, advancement manager with the Camosun College Foundation, echoes these sentiments. "More than any other college area, Access and AECC students overcome struggles to find themselves surprised at their own abilities, and grateful to Camosun for new directions. It just shows what a little education and a boost in self esteem can do."

Congratulations to all the awards recipients

Student awards

Michelle McDormand - Songhees Nation Award
Awarded to Songhees Nation funded students who achieve success in their studies and demonstrate commitment to their community.
Sponsored by the Dorothy Price Treasure Box Legacy

Ileana-Susan Perry - WS'ANEC' School Board Award
Awarded to WS'ANEC' funded students who achieve success in their studies and demonstrate commitment to their community.
Sponsored by WS'ANEC'' School Board

Trevor Day - Susan Haddon Spirit Award
Awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional qualities of 'spirit' – helping and inspiring others, and who highly values the importance of education.
Established by colleagues, family and friends of Susan Haddon, to honour her 11 year tenure at Camosun College

Elizabeth (Lizzy) Zappella - Greater Victoria Citizen Advocacy Award
Awarded to ETP students who contribute in a meaningful and positive way in the classroom and demonstrate kindness or caring behavior in their interactions.
Sponsored by the former Board of Directors, Greater Victoria Citizen Advocacy Society

Aleatha Hockridge - Lynne Richards Memorial Award
Awarded to academic upgrading students who demonstrate personal determination to succeed, achieve academic excellence and plan to pursue a post-secondary education.
Sponsored by estate of Lynne Richards, former ABE Instructional Assistant

Grace Kwanda - Colin Montesano Memorial Award
Awarded to fundamental or intermediate Math students who, as a result of sacrifice, hard work and exceptional effort, achieve a minimum 'B' grade.
Sponsored by Leikny Montesano to celebrate the life of Colin Montesano, former instructor

Sarah Schenck - Richard Rayfuse and Keith Todd Literacy Award
Awarded to fundamental English academic upgrading students who have overcome significant obstacles (personal, social, or institutional) in pursuing their education and demonstrated exemplary classroom leadership.
Sponsored by Keith Todd in memory of lifelong friend Richard Rayfuse

Seong-hwa (Sherry) Chung, Qi (Cici) Huang and Isabel Melendez - Joan Hosty Memorial Award
Awarded to domestic ELD students who demonstrate exemplary class participation and a commitment to improve their English.
Sponsored by family, friends and co-workers in memory of Joan Hosty, former instructor

Teruno Ebara and Tsz Yeung (Nicolas) Lee - Camosun College International ESL Award
Awarded to international ELD students who successfully complete one or more levels in a semester and who demonstrate excellent classroom participation with initiative.
Sponsored by Camosun College International

Shawna Kiesman - Vickers Family English Access Award #1
Awarded to Aboriginal English 094 students who write, according to specifications, a well-written, in-class literary essay.
Sponsored by Vickers Family in memory of David Vickers

Jennifer Tommy - Vickers Family English Access Award #2
Awarded to Aboriginal English 096 students who write/present, according to specifications, a well-written in-class literary essay or oral story.
Sponsored by Vickers Family in memory of David Vickers

Asya Touchie - Tsa Qwa Supp Award for Nuu-Chah-Nulth Students
Awarded to Nuu-Chah-Nulth students who achieve academic success in their studies and demonstrate commitment to their community.
Sponsored by the Art Thompson legacy and BC Hydro

Jessie Peters - 'In the Spirit of Laughter' Award
Awarded to Indigenous Studies students to recognize the contribution that good spirit and community building make to education.
Sponsored by Kathleen Sun

Jerry McBride - Chuck Dowdeswell Award
Awarded to academic upgrading students who demonstrate academic success while conquering adversity through diligence.
Sponsored by Chuck Dowdeswell, retired instructor

Allan Curran and Shawn Rooke - Joan Looy Endowment Award
Awarded to BEST program students who demonstrate motivation, perseverance and commitment to personal advancement while overcoming barriers.
Sponsored by an anonymous donor

Linda Campbell – Indigenous Studies Achievement Award
Awarded to the highest achieving, full-time Camosun College student in an Indigenous specific program.
Sponsored by the Dorothy Price Treasure Box legacy

Linda Speck - Canadian Federation of University Women (Saanich Peninsula) Award
Awarded to Indigenous female students who achieve high academic success and who are enrolled in the final year of a degree, university transfer or professional studies program at Camosun College (preference to women from the Saanich Peninsula - WS'ANEC' Nation).
Sponsored by Canadian Federation of University Women (Saanich Peninsula) Branch

Alejandra Lemus Gutierrez - Brett & Grant L. Fisher Memorial Award
Awarded to high-standing, full-time College Preparatory students who plan to continue post secondary studies and demonstrate service to the college community or community at large.
Sponsored by the Fisher family in memory of Grant Fisher (Camosun's first President) and son Brett

Chancellor Amos - Adult Basic Education Association of BC Award
Awarded to ABE students who commit to their studies and show significant success in meeting their academic goals while overcoming significant personal, social or institutional obstacles.
Sponsored by Adult Basic Education Association of BC

Melina Allan - University of Victoria Office of Indigenous Affairs Award
Awarded to Camosun College Aboriginal students who are transferring to the University of Victoria (preference to an Indigenous program).
Sponsored by Indigenous Affairs Office, University of Victoria

Hai (Rex) Gu, Simon Perez Armas and Yunmi Shin - ELD Merit Award
Awarded to ELD students who demonstrate excellent classroom participation, continued progress and show enthusiasm for their ESL studies.
Sponsored by various donors

Jacqueline Huber and Naomi Oue - ELD Writer's Award
Awarded to ELD students who write a well-written in-class paragraph or essay (03-06 levels) or well-written essay (07/09 levels).
Sponsored by various donors

Lyle Melnyk and Celestine Williams - Lockie Family Endowment Award
Awarded to School of Access students who overcome significant personal challenges while making outstanding progress in their personal academic goals.
Sponsored by Peter Lockie Family

Lorri Leonard - Dean's Award
Awarded to School of Access students in good standing who are transitioning to a career or academic program and demonstrate a commitment to student community.
Sponsored by John Boraas, Dean of School of Access

Wilfred George - Dedication to Learning Award
Awarded to ETP students who demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning and whose open heart and supportive interactions with his or her classmates contributed to the classroom environment with a positive and meaningful influence.
Sponsored by anonymous donor

Audrea Belanger and Anna Sawyer - Way to Go Award
Awarded to Academic Upgrading students who exhibit a kind and generous spirit and who complete one or more levels/courses despite overwhelming health, financial, or personal obstacles.
Sponsored by various donors

Kevin Henry and Lorri Leonard - First Unitarian Church of Victoria Award
Awarded to Aboriginal students in either a health or trades program who achieve academic success and have overcome obstacles to return to school.
Sponsored by First Unitarian Church of Victoria

Ryan Blacoe, Cynthia Dobell and Tiffany St. Gelais - Pamela Vickers Achievement Award
Awarded to graduating ETP students who demonstrate motivation, determination, sensitivity and a concern for others and can apply their acquired program skills in a work environment.
Sponsored by Vickers Family in memory of daughter, Pamela Vickers

Last updated: June 1, 2011 9:32 am

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