Thorpe and Friends Scholarship recognizes two Okanagan College students

By College Relations | October 26, 2022

Rick and Yasmin Thorpe presenting the Thorpe and Friends Scholarship to Wylie Rowan and Mattias Van Bergeyk
Wylie Rowan, Rick Thorpe, Yasmin John-Thorpe, Mattias Van Bergeyk

Local students say the generosity of two prominent Penticton philanthropists is helping them take the next steps in their education.  

Since 2006, former MLA Rick Thorpe and his wife Yasmin John-Thorpe, along with their friends, have given more than $160,000 in scholarships to students in need at Okanagan College’s Penticton Campus. Two of this year’s recipients, Wylie Rowan and Mattias Van Bergeyk, received $2,500 to put toward their education.

Both students are Summerland Secondary School grads in their first year of studies at Okanagan College.

“I was so excited when I found out I’d received the scholarship,” says Rowan. “Without this financial support, I would have had to leave school and find a job.”

Rowan says he’s grateful to the Thorpes for helping him pursue his passion — Kinesiology. “I have been injured many times, and I know how difficult it can be to recover. I want to help people heal.”

The Thorpes say their ongoing commitment to helping students in need is borne out of a desire to give back to their community.

“I was raised in a humble family that always found a way to help people, and so was Yasmin. The importance of giving back was instilled in us from a young age,” says Rick Thorpe.

“These young people are our future. We know that by helping them, we’re investing in the future of our community,” adds Yasmin.

Over the last fifteen years, 76 students have received the Thorpe and Friends Scholarship.

“This is a challenging time for students. They’ve been really impacted by inflation, and many are struggling to make ends meet. Gifts like the Thorpes’ can mean the difference between students staying in school and dropping out,” says Helen Jackman, Executive Director of Okanagan College Foundation.

Tags: OC Foundation, Kinesiology, Science University Studies



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