Financial freedom and unique opportunities await BCom student

Jun 30 2011

In June, five students from across Canada were named winners of the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program. MacEwan Bachelor of Commerce student Trent Charles was one of the five.

Trent applied to the scholarship program in March after learning of it through the MacEwan scholarship database and through a flyer at the university's Aboriginal Education Centre.

Canada’s GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program provides financial support and skills development to five accomplished first-year undergraduate Aboriginal students pursuing degrees in engineering or business.

Financial freedom and unique opportunities

“Winning this scholarship means financial freedom, which is really the freedom to focus on my schoolwork, my volunteer activities, my fitness and my social circle,” says Trent. “It alleviates a lot of the financial pressures associated with going to school.”

Not only does this monetary support help Trent in his educational pursuits but it opens up several unique opportunities.

In addition to receiving $4,000 per year for years two, three and four of their baccalaureate program, students attend a free five-day business seminar in Mississauga, job shadow a GE business leader and participate in community development and volunteering projects. Trent also hints a summer internship could be forthcoming.

Overcoming heavy odds

The odds may seem steep when applying to a national scholarship program like this one, but as one of five chosen applicants, Trent has some advice for students.

“You need to know what’s out there and be able to complete the application package on time,” he says.

“The other side is keeping a strong GPA, volunteering and being active in class. Many scholarships are based on GPA, but reference letters from staff and faculty are also very important.”