An unexpected gift from a local family will help more Niagara College students achieve their dreams this fall.
Thanks to a generous donation from Niagara-on-the-Lake residents Lauren and Vaughn Goettler, 12 students will receive financial awards through the newly established Goettler Family Scholarship.
This fall, twelve $1,000 scholarships will be given to returning students who demonstrate academic excellence (over 70% average) and financial need. The Goettler Family Scholarship will be the first in the College’s history from a private donor to assist one student from each main school of study: including Academic, Liberal and Access Studies; Allied Health; Community Services; Justice and Fitness; Business and Management; Canadian Food and Wine Institute; Environment and Horticulture; Hospitality and Tourism; Media; Nursing and Personal Support Worker; Technology; and Trades.
“In these challenging pandemic times, we are honoured to provide this bursary to acknowledge and reward returning students who are achieving academic excellence, but struggling to meet the financial obligations of their programs, such that financial assistance is required,” said Lauren and Vaughn Goettler. “We are committed to young people who have the vision and dedication to their futures to become all that they can be. While the road may not be easy, it is a worthwhile destination, full of a sense of accomplishment and a life of fulfillment.”
The gift was well-received at Niagara College where financial challenge is the greatest barrier to college success for many students. Many work part- or full-time while completing their studies, while an increasing number of students are responsible for one or more dependents. About one-third of students at NC are the first in their family to pursue postsecondary education.
While it has been a challenging year for fundraising to support student success at the College – with its signature Seafood Gala fundraising events cancelled for 2020 and 2021 – many students continue to face financial challenges, as well as additional stressors they could not have anticipated during the pandemic, such as the loss of employment.
“We are truly grateful to the Goettler family for their generous donation which embodies the very spirit of community,” said Niagara College president Sean Kennedy. “Their gift recognizes the importance of supporting education in Niagara by providing much-needed financial support. It will truly make a difference to our students as they pursue their dreams.”
In addition to helping students directly through their donation, the Goettlers also expressed hope that their gift may have an additional positive impact.
“It is our sincere hope that by this gesture we may inspire other members of the community to find it in their hearts to do the same,” they said.
For information about how to give a gift to Niagara College, visitdonate.niagaracollege.ca/ways-to-give/
Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit niagaracollege.ca.
Photo: Lauren and Vaughn Goettler are pictured outdoors at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus after establishing a scholarship which will assist 12 students in each of the College’s main schools of study this fall.