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Scholarship Enables Trent University Student to Shine


Support Allows Jenna-Lynn Burns to Continue Volunteering
With National Youth Projects While Pursuing Degree

Monday, January 8, 2007, Peterborough

For Trent University student and Lindsay native Jenna-Lynn Burns, winning the 2005/06 Board of Governors Leadership Scholarship represented more than removing the financial barriers to her post-secondary education.  It meant that she could continue following her passion – volunteering with non-profit agencies to develop youth leadership programs.

A remarkable leader with extensive youth advocacy experience, Ms. Burns won this award based on her excellent volunteer service.  “It is because of this scholarship that I am able to attend university,” said Ms. Burns during her thank-you speech to Trent’s Board of Governors.  “When someone cares enough to support a student, it’s not a waste of money – it’s an investment in the future of the community.”

Thanks to the philanthropy of others, Ms. Burns is now a second-year concurrent education student at Trent University majoring in English and biology.  “I really can’t tell you how much this scholarship means to me and to my family,” explained Ms. Burns.  “What I am most grateful for is that this scholarship allows me to go to school without having to worry about finances; I am able to concentrate on my academics and I still have time to give back to my community, to work with youth, to initiate change.”

In addition to studying full-time at Trent, Ms. Burns volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of Lindsay serving as chairperson for the Provincial Youth Council of Ontario (PYC), and sits on an advisory committee with the Ministry of Health to assist with strategic planning concerning health issues of children and youth.  As a volunteer with the PYC, she successfully piloted the Youth in Motion program in 2005 which engaged 5000 youth in leadership development through non-competitive physical activities.  One of her current goals is to take this project to the national level so youth across Canada can participate.  Ms. Burns is also working in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to plan a large-scale national youth conference slated to take place in Alberta in November 2007.

“It’s encouraging to see how scholarships, bursaries and awards can help socially-minded students like Jenna not only finance their university education, but extend their positive impact on society,” said Dianne Lister, vice president of external relations and advancement for Trent University.  Ms. Lister added that many donors like to support scholarships, bursaries and awards because they represent a tangible way to help students.

Now with the advent of the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) program, it's even easier for donors to help students.  Any donation to a qualifying endowed bursary or award will be matched dollar for dollar by the province.  For donors wishing to establish their own named bursary, a gift of $6,250 will be matched by the province, bringing the total endowment to $12,500.  Each year, this would then generate $500 in interest to support a student in financial need.  Further information about the OTSS program is available here.

Reid Morden, chair of Trent University’s Board of Governors, believes his donations are making a profound difference, both to students and to society in general. "Creating scholarships is a tremendous way to support students who exemplify a passionate commitment to community service and global citizenship.  As a donor, I find helping Trent students to shine during their university career is extremely rewarding."

“In the 2006/07 year, 1,275 students at Trent benefited from bursaries, and another 2,936 students accessed student loans to pay for their education.  For those students who need to borrow, graduation comes with an average debt of $32,000.  Endowed scholarships are one of the most effective ways to help students in need avoid this huge burden when starting out in life,” explains Ms. Lister.

“The support and encouragement of my parents is the reason I have the academic and personal success that I have today, but they could not support me financially,” Ms. Burns pointed out in her speech.  She went on to promise that “any investment in my education will be returned tenfold in my positive contributions to society.”


For further information, or to arrange an interview with Jenna-Lynn Burns, please contact Richard Morgan at (705) 748-1011, ext. 7598.