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Pushor Mitchell is donating $30,000 to aid Okanagan College students who in their careers will support people facing mental health issues, homelessness and community isolation.
The law firm that has been serving the Okanagan for more than 45 years is creating two annual awards valued at $2,000 each for students taking the College’s Human Service Work program.
Human Service Work professionals help people navigate through crisis or chronic situations where the person feels they need external help and guidance to move forward with their life and rediscover their personal power and self-sufficiency.
The two-year diploma is similar to social work with Human Service Work professionals supporting a wide range of clients including seniors, people who have a disability and people experiencing homelessness, to name a few.
Andrew Brunton, Pushor Mitchell Managing Partner, says the firm’s staff members actively fundraise to support mental health initiatives, so this gift puts additional firm support behind one of their priorities.
“Mental health affects everyone, including our own families and friends, and it’s an issue that can’t be ignored,” says Brunton.
“The whole community benefits in having people trained in the area of mental health and support for people facing crises.”
Neve Pratt is in her second year of the Human Service Work program and hopes to work with at-risk youth or people struggling with addiction when she graduates this Spring. The nineteen-year-old says the awards will make an impact by helping attract new students to the program and retain currents students who depend on financial support to continue their studies.
“The Human Service Work sector can be overlooked, so knowing that Pushor Mitchell is acknowledging it and supporting it is significant,” says Pratt.
“This can be a challenging sector to work in and it's important for Human Service Workers to continuously take care of themselves, so these awards are really appreciated.”
The gift is in support of the Okanagan College Foundation’s Our Students, Your Health campaign, which has a $5-million fundraising goal to build a new Health Sciences Centre and support students taking in-demand health and social development programs.
Pushor Mitchell has a longstanding relationship with Okanagan College, with several lawyers serving on the Okanagan College Foundation board including current Board Member Colin Edstrom.
The law firm also has supported past fundraising campaigns like the Kelowna Trades Complex, as well as bursaries for students taking the Legal Administrative Assistant Certificate program and students in the University Transfer programs.