University women still helping post-secondary students

Two Comox Valley-raised female university students will receive a hand-up to finish their studies.

COMOX VALLEY-RAISED MIKAELA Jorgensen

COMOX VALLEY-RAISED MIKAELA Jorgensen

Two Comox Valley-raised female university students will receive a hand-up to finish their studies.

Mikaela Jorgensen and Rose Prieto each received $1,000 bursaries from the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) – Comox Valley.

Pat James, previous CFUW bursary committee chair, noted students must be graduates of a Comox Valley secondary school and they must be in at least their second, third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree.

“This is really to help younger women complete their education and go on and get a proper university degree,” James said at the CFUW bursary lunch last week, adding there’s more bursaries for first-year students available, and CFUW wanted to ensure students further along in their studies have a chance for financial help to finish.

She also noted bursaries are needs-based rather than solely academic, and CFUW chooses to give bursaries so the money goes to young women who could really use it.

“This is why we established this because we wanted to help somebody in need,” she said. “We like to give the money to someone who can make use of the money.”

Vanier graduate Jorgensen said the money will certainly come in handy for her. The University of Victoria student is just starting her fourth year in the nursing program. She’s doing her practicum, which is unpaid and takes up the majority of her time, while she also works a part-time job in Victoria.

Between school and work, she is busy seven days per week, but she still relies heavily on student loans — and the amount she receives each semester has diminished recently.

“Right now, I had basically $2,000 of unmet need that I wasn’t able to come up, with so this bursary has helped me pretty much pay for my tuition next semester,” explained Jorgensen. “I was really, really happy; it’s a really big deal for me to have that.”

Jorgensen will graduate as a registered nurse with a specialty in emergency room nursing next spring, and plans to work in one of the Victoria hospitals for a year after that to get some experience. She then plans to work in Hawaii for six months, and at some point she plans to travel back to Nepal and volunteer again.

“In my first year (of schooling), I went and did one of my clinical experiences in Nepal at a teaching hospital, so I plan on going back there to do s

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