Two local credit unions put $53,000 on the table this week aimed at helping secondary and post-secondary students seeking further education - and I'm hopeful some of that coin will be left here with deserving scholars in Langley.
But to qualify, you have to apply, and the deadlines are looming.
For the 17th year in a row, Langley-based Envision Financial rolled out plans to distribute $33,000 in educational awards.
Specifically, they're giving out 14 awards of $2,000 each to students who demonstrate outstanding school and community involvement.
Their deadline is Feb. 28, with criteria and applications available online at www.envisionfinancial.ca/education.
Since 1996, Envision Financial has disbursed nearly a half million dollars in funding for high-school and post-secondary students across B.C., said Susan Byrom, manager of community investment for Envision Financial.
"At Envision, we believe that it's important to recognize those who are committed to academic excellence and community leadership," Byrom said. "That's why for nearly 20 years Envision has proudly provided education awards to exemplary secondary and post-secondary students. These awards are just one way we can recognize the positive impact that they have made<and will continue to make<in our local communities."
Receiving an education award from Envision helped remove the financial burden of university, according to past recipient Kathryn Lalonde.
"I felt that I was rewarded for my academic feats and my community involvement. This award enabled me to experience UBC to the fullest, by not having to worry about how I would pay my tuition."
The competition is open to students who are members of Envision Financial, or the dependent of an Envision Financial member, in good standing prior to July 1, 2012.
New this year is the addition of two $2,500 education awards to secondary and post-secondary students who actively volunteer with their local food bank.
The competition is open to students who have outstanding community volunteerism with their local food bank in communities where Envision operates. Applicants do not need to be a member of Envision Financial to qualify.
Prospera also comes to the table
Likewise, Prospera Credit Union - which has a branch in Langley Crossing - is helping people realize their full potential by bringing $20,000 to the table in the away of awards and scholarship for students in communities from Vancouver to the Okanagan.
In addition to the four regular awards valued between $1,000 and $1,500, the credit union also offers the Ron Sweeney Rising Star Award of $2,000.
This award, which was introduced last year, is presented to an exceptional high school student preparing for post-secondary education.
In 2013, Prospera will also be continuing to partner with Junior Achievement to deliver their Economics for Success program which encourages middle and high school students to take a closer look at the advantages of staying in school and how the choices they make can positively impact their future dreams, aspirations and outcomes.
The Credit Union Foundation of BC also offers a variety of bursaries and education awards for students in British Columbia, funded by credit union members.
The deadline for applications for the winter semester is February 15. For information on the awards and an application form, visit www.cufoundation.org.
Free travel event in Langley
A Travel Talk roadshow is hitting 42 cities across Canada between now and March, including a stop in Langley. Trafalgar, a travel company that specializes in guided tours, is embarking on its third annual roadshow, and will be in Langley on Jan. 21, at the Langley Events Centre, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Note that the doors open 30 minutes early. The team, made up of Trafalgar exec and veteran travel experts, will talk about the hottest destinations for 2013.
"The overwhelming success of last year's Travel Talks has proven that this is the perfect opportunity for guests to really learn about travelling like an insider, as well as the grand prize trip to Italy which is our number one destination," said Trafalgar Canada president Doug Patterson. "The 2013 Travel Talks roadshow will be the ultimate insider's guide throughout Europe & other worldwide destinations and this is definitely an event not to be missed!"
To participate in a Travel Talk, people must register online at www.trafalgartraveltalk.ca.