Rewards for students

MLA Donna Barnett, in her column, highlights the Passport to Education program.

Here we are in the second week of the school year and I hope everyone’s feeling a little bit more settled.

We’re in the last leg of summer and, as the weather calms, it’s time for students to buckle down. Did you know that getting good school marks in grades 10 to 12 can earn students Passport to Education stamps, which are used to assist students in paying for tuition fees?

The Passport to Education program recognizes and rewards student achievement in academic and non-academic areas. The program is designed to help motivate students to study consistently during the years leading up to graduation and encourage all secondary school students to pursue further education through post-secondary institutions and job-training programs. All you have to do is keep up the hard work. And in further education news, it was recently announced that there are an additional 18 health-care assistant student spaces at the College of New Caledonia’s Quesnel campus for future health professionals in the Cariboo region. The B.C. government provided $238,000 in one-time funding to the college for 10 student spaces at the Vanderhoof campus and 18 at the Quesnel campus.  This funding is important to the whole region as it allows students to study closer to home, reducing costs and time away from family. Front-line care is crucial to all communities, and it’s a real support to the region to keep health-care professionals studying and working in the area. I would also like to remind everyone that as of Sept. 1, more veterans are able to take advantage of British Columbia’s popular veteran licence plate program, which now includes currently serving members of the Canadian Forces.

The commemorative plates, which feature a red poppy on a powder blue background, have previously only been available to veterans who served during war time or in a post-war capacity, as well as veterans who served during a NATO or UN operation, including members of the RCMP and municipal police services. Currently serving members are every bit as deserving to show off their sacrifice and dedication to our country. I’m thrilled with this new expansion and expect to see many more poppy-adorned plates on the road.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.