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Ike Barber Scholarships Keep Selkirk College Transfer Students On Track

West Kootenay High School grad Jacob Erickson started his post-secondary journey at Selkirk College (seen here pre-COVID). After a successful first year at the Castlegar Campus, he is one of 26 former Selkirk College students to secure a $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship and is now working towards his degree at Simon Fraser University. — Selkirk College photo

Beginning their post-secondary journey in a rural setting, 26 students from Selkirk College are carrying on their education at university with a financial boost from the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship Program.

Offered by the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society, each year up to 160 transfer students from smaller institutions across British Columbia are provided $5,000 each to help with the next step of their education. The scholarships are awarded to successful applicants who demonstrate academic merit and significant community involvement.

“The Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship is a vital part of Selkirk College’s ability to offer both access and affordability to our students,” says Teresa Dolan, Selkirk College’s Financial Aid Officer.

“Students who leave here to complete a degree do so with the excellent educational foundation Selkirk College provides, but the move to a larger institution in a bigger city can be a significant barrier. The added costs of tuition and living expenses can stop the forward progression of completing the credential they seek.

"This scholarship helps lower that financial hurdle and has proven to be successful for many years.”

Available to students who transfer out after either their first or second year, the 26 Selkirk College students who received this year’s scholarships started locally in a number of different programs. Now studying at the University of British Columbia (UBC), University of Victoria (UVic), BC Institute of Technology (BCIT), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Thompson Rivers University (TRU), the students are finding success thanks to the indispensable financial assistance.

Not Possible Without Close-To-Home Start

Jacob Erickson grew up in the Nelson area and enrolled in the School of University Arts & Sciences after taking a gap year out of high school.

Spending a year on the Castlegar Campus securing knowledge in essential first-year science classes and figuring out an educational pathway that suited his interests, the 20-year-old transferred to Burnaby’s Simon Fraser University this past September.

Now studying in SFU’s new School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, Erickson’s transition included the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship.

“I am very fortunate to have been awarded this scholarship, it has been very helpful,” says Erickson. “I don’t need to be worried about finances and can instead focus more on my education.”

Aside from academic achievement, Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship winners are required to be active in their community. With a high school resume packed with volunteer and leadership experience, Erickson says the time he spent preparing his application was worth the effort when the acceptance letter arrived.

Once he completes his degree at SFU, Erickson has his sights set on returning to his rural roots where he wants to be a leader in the region’s “100% Renewable Kootenays by 2050” initiative. Though still early in his post-secondary journey, Erickson credits Selkirk College with the right start and his ability to secure the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship.

“I would highly recommend starting at Selkirk College to anybody,” he says.

“It was more affordable and convenient, but I found the quality of education to be much better than I ever expected. The smaller class sizes really allowed me to connect with both my fellow students and our teachers. I was able to ask questions and get enormous amounts of help from everybody around me.”

The other 2020 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship recipients from Selkirk College include: Angela Erickson (UVic), Rebecca MacLeod (UBC), Sarah Beaudion (TRU), Silk Edwards (TRU), Anthony Vu (UBC), Tanner Costa (UBC), Caleb Kavaloff (UBC), Amanda Murdoch (UBC), Charles Slimmon (UBC), Emmalee Valls (UBC), Taylor Levson (UVic), Jolene Milan (BCIT), Sabina Schindel (UBC), Andrew Voykin (UBC), Jocelyn Terwoord (UVic), Heather Anderson (UVic), Roxanne Baker (UVic), Alexia Bobby (UVic), Gabriel Price (UVic), Kimberly Randen (UVic), Ashley Rayner (UVic), Marthe-Lize Rindisbacher (UVic), Meghan Stewart (UVic), Amanda Pheeney (UVic) and Andriana Bergman (UVic).

Learn more about Selkirk College student awards and financial assistance at selkirk.ca.