FACE TO FACE: Opening doors to prosperity
Jan Kerklaan knows all about the opportunities a university education can provide.
The retired school teacher and Tsawwassen resident graduated from Concordia University, obtained her teacher’s certificate at McGill, and went on to study at the University of Strasbourg, France.
For Kerklaan, a university education opened up doors to prosperity and a meaningful career teaching at the high school and primary French immersion level.
That’s why seven years ago she became involved with the local chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women. The group aims to improve the status of women by promoting quality public education, and advocating for human rights, justice and peace.
“We encourage women worldwide to pursue higher education,” says Kerklaan, whose two daughters have gone on to attend university. “When the woman is educated, so too are the children. It builds healthier, safer communities, reduces poverty, and improves child welfare.”
The South Delta chapter was founded in 1966 and is one of 123 clubs in Canada. Locally, the South Delta chapter provides bursaries for local women to attend university or college, and is currently inviting applications from female students for $1,000 awards. The bursaries are open to female residents of South Delta and/or graduates of a Ladner or Tsawwassen high school who are 20 years and older. Applicants must be registered at an accredited post-secondary institution for the coming school year.
The awards are for women who aren’t going straight from high school to university, but are looking to go back to school to better themselves, with priority given to those with financial need.
“We don’t want to give bursaries to someone who is already getting a million other awards,” says Kerklaan.
In addition to providing financial assistance, CFUW South Delta also hosts monthly meetings where they routinely bring in guest speakers, such as Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives director Seth Klein and Bard on the Beach founder Christopher Gaze.
• For more information about CFUW, or to apply for a bursary, contact Jan Kerklaan at 604-943-6086 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply for the bursaries is May 30.