Current and future Sioux Mountain Public School Grade 4 students to receive support to realize their dreams following signing of MOU between KPDSB and Lakehead University
Tim Brody - Editor
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) and Lakehead University (LU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sept. 16 so that students will have a greater chance of attending university.
According to a joint media release issued on Sept. 16 by KPDSB and LU, current and future Grade 4 students from Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout who are eligible will now have the opportunity to enroll in Lakehead University’s Achievement Program.
“Students who are eligible to participate (those facing barriers to postsecondary education) will attend special on-campus programming at the University and meet certain criteria to earn financial support toward their first year of tuition at Lakehead University,” the joint media release explained.
Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, attended the signing event on Lakehead University’s Thunder Bay campus.
“I would like to congratulate Lakehead University and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and Kenora Catholic District School Board on this innovative program,” said Dunlop. “When postsecondary institutions and local partners work together, they find unique ways to help learners realize their potential and contribute to building a strong community.”
Lakehead President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson signed the MOU with Sherri-Lynne Pharand, Director of Education at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.
“The Achievement Program gives young people who normally face barriers to postsecondary education the opportunity to realize their dreams,” McPherson said.
“This program encourages students to see themselves as Lakehead University graduates at an early age by removing those barriers,” she added.
The joint media release explained that Lakehead introduced the Achievement Program in 2011 to help students obtain a postsecondary education at the University. “Eligible participants enroll in Grade 4 and continue with the program until Grade 12, with annual opportunities to earn financial assistance by completing specific requirements at their school, in their community, and at Lakehead University,” the joint media release stated.
“The signing of this MOU is an exciting milestone that will offer exceptional opportunities to our students, allowing them to see themselves as university students of the future,” Pharand said.
“Eligible students at Sioux Mountain Public School will be supported all the way through their journey, beginning in Grade 4, including opportunities for campus and career exploration days, visits from the exceptional program staff at Lakehead University, and access to mentors once the students transition to high school.
“We are proud to partner with Lakehead University to offer these opportunities to families at Sioux Mountain Public School and look forward to expanding the program to other KPDSB schools in the future,” she said.
“At the end of the nine years, the accrued value of each student’s financial support will help fund their first year at Lakehead University. Lakehead provides additional spots each year, based on available funding, for eligible students to enroll,” the joint media release concluded.