Ottawa’s employer-led career college, Willis College, will now be awarding $150,000 in scholarships to Canadian military spouses over the next six years as part of its 150th-anniversary celebrations.
“The military spouses education scholarship fund is designated to provide needed financial support for military spouses who are embracing a career, or changing their profession, [and for] education training as they integrate back into the labour market,” said Willis College President and CEO Rima Aristocrat.
One military spouse will be awarded a full scholarship, totalling $25,000, every year for the next six years. The scholarship will be awarded to spouses choosing to attend any of the three campuses, located in Ottawa, Smith Falls, and Arnprior. The scholarship will cover costs such as tuition, books, and certifications. Willis College has three main areas of study: business, healthcare, and technology.
“At Willis College we truly believe that military spouses are the strength behind the uniform, really they are our heroes on our home-front. We are proud to dedicate this scholarship to the spouses of those that define our country, defend our country and keep us safe, strong. What better way to express our gratitude and thank you to them [than] to introduce this scholarship,” expressed Aristocrat.
The introduction of this scholarship is part of the college’s 150th-anniversary celebration and also is in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary.
“We wanted to do something special to put back in the community and being in education the best gift we could give to people is to access funds for professional development and to achieve their career dreams. We decided as part of our celebration we would set up a military spouses education fund,” stated Aristocrat.
Willis College reached out to the Petawawa MFRC (PMFRC), and the two are working hand-in-hand. Aristocrat visited the MFRC last month for the official announcement of the scholarship.
The PMFRC is helping the college with finalizing the name and setting up a board of trustees.
“We know that employment and education is a challenge for military spouses across Canada, especially with moves. I think this is an opportunity for military spouses who may have wanted to do this but did not have the opportunity and funds do it. It opens the doors for them to apply and dream big. Apply for a scholarship in technology, health services and they have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said PMFRC Executive Director Claudia Beswick.
It is expected that a board of trustees to administer the applications will be set up by mid-June, and the application will then be online by July 1.