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Contest winner inspired to help others
Okanagan College Media Release

 

Brittani Sali May 2020When Brittani Sali answered the phone and learned she was the winner of a $5,000 tuition giveaway contest, she thought she might be dreaming.

The 22-year old was just waking up, and she hadn’t been expecting the call from local radio announcer B Mack.

Lucky for Sali, winning the tuition giveaway towards any health program at Okanagan College wasn’t a dream. The 22-year old was among one of 80 people who entered the contest, which was sponsored by the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund, in partnership with Virgin Radio and the Okanagan College Foundation.

Sali had applied to the Therapist Assistant diploma program at the College before learning about the contest. Winning the funds will almost pay the full tuition for the program, and has helped bring a sense of relief and clarity to Sali’s next steps after recently graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

“The health care field was always something I wanted to go into and there are so many options beyond the well-known role of nurses or doctors,” says Sali, “and COVID-19 has only made it more clear how important health professionals are to our lives.”

Okanagan College’s two-year Therapist Assistant diploma was one of the first of its kind in Canada to be nationally accredited, and recently earned a new and enhanced national accreditation. The program trains people to work in three different disciplines: physiotherapy, occupational therapy and recreational therapy.

Sali says she was drawn to the program because of the number of options and the ability to help people in their day-to-day lives. Sali adds she’s thrilled to learn she will be training in the College’s brand-new Health Sciences Centre, set to open later this year.

“I started my degree at OC and I was impressed by the new Trades building. To have a new Centre dedicated to Health programs is really exciting.”

“I am impressed by Brittani’s passion and I’m so happy my fund can help her pursue a career in health and helping others,” says Tom Budd, a local philanthropist who funded the tuition giveaway. Budd created the Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund to honour his two sons, who both lost their lives to suicide.

While the fund’s primary focus is mental health, Budd notes that our physical health directly affects our mental health, motivating him to fund the tuition contest for a student entering a health care career.

Budd’s gift is in support of the Our Students, Your Health campaign, a fundraiser to complete a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Centre and provide support for students entering high-demand health care careers. The Okanagan College Foundation is halfway to reaching its $5-million campaign goal. To learn more about the Our Students, Your Health campaign or to donate, visit OurStudentsYourHealth.ca.