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Tim Harder Memorial Award helps Brad Atkins, AME student, follow his dreams of flight
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Tim Harder Memorial Award helps Brad Atkins, AME student, follow his dreams of flight

A tragic accident may have claimed the life of an Okanagan College student before he could achieve his dream of becoming a pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer, but the award created in his memory is helping others follow in his footsteps.

During an emotional award presentation at Okanagan College’s Aerospace Campus in Vernon, Brad Atkins of Vernon received the first annual Tim Harder Memorial Award, a $1,000 bursary created to support students in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) program at Okanagan College.harder

“I couldn’t be more grateful for this award,” says Atkins. “I can’t even put it into words."

“I feel very privileged, and I want to express my deepest thanks to the Harder family and to let them know just how much this award means to me. It takes an incredible weight off my shoulders to know that I have these funds to put towards living expenses and tuition for the rest of my program.” 

Tim Harder’s parents, Drs. James and Joyce Harder, reflected on why they chose to establish the award in their son’s memory and their hopes for what it will achieve.

“When Tim died, our family and friends wanted to do something to honour his memory. We knew that it had been a struggle for Tim to go back to school after all those years, and so we decided to help other students in a similar situation,” says the Harders.

Read more in the press release about the inspiring story of Brad's journey, and the thoughtfulness of the Harder family in establishing this award in Tim's honour.