Alejandra del Castillo, Masoumeh Fasaee-Zadeh, Parviz Hossein-Zadeh
Inaugural Lumba-Bacani Scholarship recipients Alejandra del Castillo, Masoumeh Fasaee-Zadeh and Parviz Hossein-Zadeh.

Standing tall for student success

“A student’s lack of funds should not prevent him or her from attending the School of Continuing Studies in order to get ahead,” says Public Relations’ instructor Charles Pitts.

In 2010, he and his wife, Manon Boisvert, established the Boisvert-Pitts Bursary in Public Relations to provide much-needed financial support to deserving McGill students. “A lot of students may be new to Montreal, just starting careers and families, so money can be tight,” he points out.

Indeed, almost half of those enrolled at SCS come from outside of Canada. Barbara Seal, a Canadian Citizen Court judge, had this in mind in 2012, when she established the Barbara Seal, CM, Scholarship for Newcomers to Canada, the SCS’s very first scholarship dedicated to permanent residents and new citizens.

Other awards created through Campaign McGill include the McGill Association of Continuing Education Students Scholarships and Bursaries and the Rita Lumba-Bacani and Jun Bacani Scholarship in Accounting and Taxation and/or Entrepreneurship.

For Rita Lumba-Bacani, CertMgmt’88, CertAcctg’88, who hails from the Philippines, giving back to the University has personal significance. “I went to McGill when I was over 40 years old, and I want to support other people who are working hard to follow their dreams,” she says.

Among those the Lumba-Bacani Scholarship has benefited is Alejandra del Castillo, 44, a native of Uruguay who is completing a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship. “I think the new scholarships at the School recognize the value of the entire program,” she says. And though she hesitates to predict where she’ll land once she graduates, her education has bolstered her prospects. “I’ve gained important insights into the process of starting a business.”

The result is clear: putting students first pays dividends.