Providing Support When Needed Most

We are all still adjusting to changes brought about by COVID-19. Many of us continue to work from home, are balancing the needs of family and maintaining social distancing, while others continue to face hardships brought on by the pandemic. Saskatchewan Polytechnic students also faced unforeseen circumstances. Yes, they were able to learn at home but they had to try to find balance to cope in an environment that was impacted by this enormous change.

In addition to making changes to the way they were learning, immediate and unforeseen financial issues affected most students. With the move to online learning, many students did not have access to internet service or even a digital device where they could participate in online classes. They also faced the harsh realities of losing part-time jobs and no matter how far they stretched existing funds, they had no money to cover basic needs such as food and rent.

Sask Polytech quickly recognized the need and at the beginning of April initiated the Student Emergency Fund. Urgent funding earmarked by the Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Polytech provided access to $300,000 for student bursaries for those in immediate need.

At the same time, an appeal to help was issued to the Sask Polytech community. This included a call-out to you, our alumni, donors, partners and employees. Through the generosity of donors $55,208 was raised in a little over three weeks for the Student Emergency Fund. Of the 139 Sask Polytech community members who stepped up to help, 95 were employees. Two major donors quickly stepped forward. Princess Auto provided $17,500 and $10,000 was gifted from a new donor, TC Energy from Alberta.

The COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty in our students’ lives but we were all there to help. “We thank all of our community - donors, partners, alumni and employees for their quick response to our students in their time of need,” said Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO. “We understand the challenges everyone is facing and appreciate the courage and generosity towards ensuring the safety and well-being of our students. Access to the bursaries through the Student Emergency Fund has enabled students to focus on their education and complete their programs.”

Working together as a team, we made a real difference for Sask Polytech students. Over 600 bursaries were provided to students in need. Thank you to all who responded to our call. Your charitable gift made an incredible difference in helping students complete this semester and graduate.

The need for support is ongoing. The Student Emergency Fund will remain in place as this challenging time continues. If you would like to provide support for our students, please visit Student Emergency Fund for more information.

June 2020