Thanks to an initiative launched at the recent Ontario Universities Fair, Nipissing University staff and students raised $5,700 for Shannen’s Dream, a First Nations charity dedicated to equal education for all students.
Bucking the trend of spending budget dollars on giveaways like pens, posters and hats, Nipissing’s Office of Student Recruitment pledged to donate $1.00 to Shannen’s Dream for each student that registered at their booth by providing contact information. It was a way to attract students who want to make a difference and to promote social justice.
More than 2,800 students registered, and the student recruitment office is giving $2860 to Shannen’s Dream. Nipissing’s Upper Management Group is kicking in the remaining $2,840 out of pocket, for a grand total of $5,700 to Shannen’s Dream.
“Typically, we’ve budgeted less than that for giveaways at the Fair, but we wanted to do something more targeted to the type of students Nipissing wants to attract,” said Carla Tucker, Manager of Student Recruitment in a University release.
“We knew this would cost more, and were prepared for the increase. We are all very pleased with the outcome. The students who signed up were pleased to know that they were helping to make the world a better place.”
Shannen Koostachin was a youth education advocate from Attawapiskat First Nation. She worked tirelessly to provide safe schools and culturally based education for First Nations children and youth. First Nations schools receive less funding per student than Provincial and Territorial schools, and are without funding for things like libraries, computers, languages or extracurricular activities.
Koostachin tragically passed away at the age of 15 in 2010. Named in her memory, Shannen’s Dream engages Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to better understand the education inequities and to take action to ensure every one receives a proper education.