Making dreams come true.

IGNITE’s annual Indigenous Scholarship, administered in partnership with Humber’s Indigenous Education & Engagement (IE&E), seeks to help support our Indigenous students who often face a unique set of barriers, such as a higher risk of financial insecurity. The IGNITE Indigenous Scholarship consists of a $1,000 grant. IGNITE awards the scholarship to Indigenous students from Humber College or the University of Guelph-Humber who demonstrate leadership and community involvement.

Three students received the 2023 grant. Additionally, IGNITE made a one-time donation to Humber’s IE&E Micro-Bursary Fund of $2,000, further stretching funding and ensuring support for Indigenous students.

“IGNITE’s donation to the IE&E Micro-Bursary helps alleviate financial stress for Indigenous learners at Humber who face emergency or hardship situations and unmet critical needs of students. At IGNITE, our efforts to support Indigenous students doesn’t stop at just school; it’s about giving every Indigenous student a shot at success and making their mark on the world,” said Jessica Carrera, Student Advocate for Humber College.

We reached out to two of the scholarship recipients, Kaitlynn McLeod and Ashtyn Brooke Bomberry, for a quick Q&A and asked them about the impact of a scholarship such as this on their educational aspirations. Here’s what they had to say.

A woman smiling.
Photo by Kaitlynn McLeod

How will this award help you achieve your career and post-graduation aspirations?

“In my opinion, by having the opportunity to receive this scholarship, it will help eliminate the stress of school cost, allowing me to have a stronger focus on my current and future aspirations! I can now put all my focus toward my efforts in gaining experience working in my community and achieving my academic goals to help push me toward my future goals of working within the justice system aiming for equitable change,” said McLeod.

Bomberry felt similarly. “Receiving the award will give me the confidence that I can achieve whatever I set my heart to,” she said.

What role did your family and community play in your educational journey? 

Family and community often play big roles in most students education, offering a pillar of support and constant guidance that keeps students on track to achieve their dreams. This was no different with our scholarship winners!

“My family and community have had incredible impacts on me, and I would never have had the chance to go to school without them,” McLeod said.

“My educational journey has been cheered on by my relatives since the very beginning, and they constantly lend their ears, wisdom, and hearts whenever I need it. It is due to them that I have such passion for my community and have the confidence to apply for opportunities such as this scholarship!”

Bomberry noted that her family even went so far as to proofread and look over her answers to the scholarship questions and requirements!

A woman smiling.
Photo by Ashtyn Bomberry

What do you think is the importance of scholarships like this?  

Scholarships have the transformative power to unlock doors of opportunity for students, alleviating financial burdens and enabling them to pursue their educational dreams. It also has a lasting impact on their future decisions and involvement with the community.

“Scholarships such as this one are of such importance not only helping to create a more equitable school environment, but truly giving hope to our future leaders who may be struggling with funding. These opportunities give a helping hand to not only our current leaders in school, but will help reflect in our future generations by showing what can be achieved with heart and hard work,” McLeod said.

“This scholarship’s importance stems through inclusivity, it gives Indigenous students the chance to gain more awards and know that there is help out there for them,” Bomberry observed.

Ultimately, scholarships have the transformative power to unlock doors of opportunity for students, alleviating financial burdens and enabling them to pursue their educational dreams. They’re more than a source of immediate relief. Furthermore, these scholarships cultivate a ripple effect, empowering individuals to contribute meaningfully to their communities and make an impact on others.

Curious about IGNITE’s other equity scholarships? Check out IGNITE’s Black Excellence Scholarship, which is currently open to applications!

Feature photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Do you want to learn about other opportunities you can access on campus? Check out our article on campus resources you may not have heard about.

Follow IGNITE on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for all things student life.