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Students get head start with Thorpe and Friends Scholarships
Okanagan College Media Release

With three older siblings already attending post-secondary, Miya Stel is grateful to receive a $2,500 scholarship to help her attend Okanagan College this fall.

She is one of three Penticton high-school students who received a Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship during a special ceremony June 26.
 Thorpe Scholarship June 2019

“It means a lot to be chosen for this award and it’s going to make my education more affordable,” says Stel, who graduated from Penticton Secondary School and will be pursuing a Criminal and Social Justice diploma.

“Okanagan College was my first choice and I’m super grateful I was awarded the opportunity to stay at home.”

Joining Stel in receiving scholarships are Maximus Mandaione from Princess Margaret Secondary School and Emily Caruso from Penticton Secondary School.

The main criteria for the annual awards is that the students demonstrate good grades and contribute to their communities.

For Stel, this meant hosting bake sales with the funds supporting a clean water and sanitation project in Haiti, as well as raising money to support the introduction of a new recycling and composting program at her school.

Seventeen-year-old Mandaione volunteers with several programs which enriched his life when he was younger: the Young at Art program run by the Penticton Art Gallery and the Salvation Army’s Fresh from the Farm program. The farm program sees children learn how to can and preserve fruits and vegetables for residents in need.

“It’s rewarding to see the work I do in the community is being recognized in this way,” says Mandaione, adding the funds are a relief and will help him pay for a four-year business degree at the College.

Helping young people is meaningful for the Thorpes, who have a long history of championing education in the region, having supported students at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan for 13 years.

“These young students are our future,” says Rick. “We are very pleased to support them and we wish them all the best in their careers.”

Yasmin notes, “Our scholarships give students a springboard to help them reach their goals and also assist in reducing their costs for post-secondary education.”

Since 2006, the Thorpes have awarded 65 awards totalling $139,250 to South Okanagan College students.

“The contributions of Rick and Yasmin Thorpe to students in the South Okanagan are exceptional,” says Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“They’ve opened doors for students who might not otherwise be able to attend school and recognized students for getting involved and improving their communities. We are deeply grateful for their continued support of students at the College.”