For Lauren Swan, the University of Northern British Columbia offers everything she could ever want in a university.
It’s close to her hometown of Big Lake, B.C., and the smaller class sizes give her the opportunity to get to know her classmates and her professors.
Swan is a first-year student who is pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in physics.
This year, she received a $1,000 UNBC Faculty and Staff Bursary. This year also marks the 20th Anniversary of this employee-funded student award.
The bursary means a lot to Swan.
Her parents are both foresters who were affected by the wildfires in the Cariboo region in 2017. This bursary helps Swan to focus on her studies rather than worry about going into debt.
Even though Swan has a full course load of classes including math, physics, chemistry, biology and computer science, she’s savouring her first semester at UNBC.
“I enjoy physics, it’s more abstract and a really cool discipline,” she says. “It relates to everything we do.”
UNBC employees work hard every day to ensure students have an opportunity to reach their educational goals. One more way they do this is through the Employee Challenge, an annual four-day employee-led fundraiser.
During last year’s Employee Challenge, employee gifts topped-up the UNBC Faculty and Staff Bursary endowment in order to give out one more bursary every year, forever. The fund can now give out five bursaries to deserving students such as Swan.
Swan hopes to go into medical school or astrophysics after she completes her undergraduate degree.