Two Victoria students are being recognized for their academic accomplishments in the face of adversity.
Jeina Elarid and Danielle Ruhigisha are recipients of the Coast Capital Standing Tall Education Award, a $3,500 grant awarded to 61 young people across the province who have overcome personal hurdles to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education. The awards support students who have faced challenges like poverty, personal loss, health concerns and family issues to pursue continuing education.
Elarid is enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce at UVic. Despite a challenging and traumatic upbringing that was exhausting at times, Elarid was committed to her education, cultivating a strong work ethic.
Elarid expressed her appreciation for the award. “Words cannot express my gratitude and I am so grateful for having some of the financial burden taken off my shoulders,” she said.
Ruhigisha is studying human rights and conflict resolution at the University of Ottawa. She hopes to parlay her degree into a job at the United Nations.
Ruhigisha excelled in school and extracurricular activities despite a history of cultural trauma that threatened the stability of her home life.
“This award will set me on the path for change that I wish to see in the world, while also having a positive impact on a larger scale. Additionally, it provides me with financial stability so I can focus on my academics,” she said.
Coast Capital Savings has invested more than $2.4 million to support 867 students in the pursuit of post-secondary studies since 2004.
Maureen Young, the company’s director of community leadership, congratulated the award winners, commending their tenacity and commitment to their futures.
“The Coast Capital Education Awards program looks beyond a student’s academic standing and takes into account a more all-encompassing picture of these students, including the challenges that they have had to overcome and their ability to reach their goals no matter what life throws at them,” Young said.