Testimonial by Paula Wesley

Thank you for sending the letter of support from the British Columbia Deaf Scholarship Trust. My name is Paula Wesley, Deaf artist and I am a graduated from the Northwest Community College of First Nations Fine Art. I am originally from Terrace, B.C. I am currently living in Terrace, B.C.

In Winter 2012, I received the bursary from BCDST. I attended the Northwest Community College on Terrace campus. I took First Nations Fine Arts (FNFA), two-year Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art diploma program.

The bursary funding from BCDST helped me to purchase carving tools, carving books, continuous endless of purchasing art supplies, frames for the paintings and coverall work clothes. This did help me get through the school year especially the carving tools were expensive for the advanced students in the second year. The Freda Diesing of Northwest Coast Art School gave me rich experience. I doubt I would have made it in my second year if it were not for BCDST to make this possible. Otherwise, I would be not be here today as a First Nations artist.

Yes, I would encourage seeing BCDST continue to support other deaf people to pursue their dreams and goals.

Testimonial by Michael D. Bergenheim

Dear British Columbia Government: This letter is an opportunity to respond to the need of support for the British Columbia Deaf Scholarship Trust (BCDST), as I have been its client since January 2014. I am deeply motivated at this very moment to share some valuable pieces of information that may be necessary for me to take part in helping to enlarge understanding of the needs for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

My name is Michael D. Bergenheim, and I am student at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, BC in the study of M. Ed. TEAL (Teaching English as an Additional Language). I live in New Westminster, which is adjacent to Burnaby, and the commute to the university from home and vice versa is quite convenient. Not only is the locale optimal for me but the education I am getting in the TEAL program has been of utmost valuable to my need for honing tools to become an improved instructor of English, and by means of upgrading my skills and knowledge in teaching is only enabling me to serve the purpose of offering an enhanced and most current effective learning environment in the classrooms.

Prior to enrolling for courses at SFU in January 2014 I had spent eight months searching for some support and loans to pay for my education. I had failed, as the bank could not offer me student loans due to the fact that my income was not high enough that I probably would not be able pay them back being drowned with debts. I had not known about BCDST until a board member of its organization approached me with the idea that I applied for scholarship. After a mere two weeks of submission of my application in December 2013, I was awarded scholarship for amounts that would pay for my education. I was in awe to be granted such a scholarship— it is truly and honor. I also saw clearly those BCDST board members and its general members found it vital to support the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community. I am deeply grateful, which words cannot express.

The Faculty of Education’s M Ed TEAL program at SFU is designed for educators, like myself, to learn more about advanced knowledge of theories, issues that are applicable to teaching English language learners, and research. It is a full-time program for experienced teachers/instructors. In my case, although I am proud to say that I am a professional instructor of English for adult DHH learners at Vancouver Community College, I am only an on-call instructor. I also work for a coffee shop full-time to keep up with personal expenses. Regardless of my current position, I do look forward to working full-time real soon at the college or other schools that may need my expertise.

Regarding the program of study, I have found the Equity Issues in Language, Education and Society, Sociocultural Perspectives on Education and Identity, Second Language Teaching Seminar, Research Designs in Education, and Current Issues in Curriculum and Pedagogy courses to be in accordance with Faculty of Education’s purpose for the program. I expect to complete two more semesters (fall and spring) and comprehensive examinations in summer 2016.

I am asked how the money from BCDST has helped me succeed in my studies. Being one of SFU’s top students, the Faculty of Education published my student profile in their web site, along with an announcement that I was awarded BC Deaf Scholarship. Please feel free to browse in the following website: http://www.sfu.ca/education/gs/profiles/students/michael- bergenheim.html. I can honestly say that I would not have been able to attend school and aim to reach my goals without BCDST’s GENEROUS financial support. It is that important to me to move forward taking responsibility in upgrading my own skills in teaching for years to come.

Looking forward, I find BCDST a very strong organization that believes in supporting the general Deaf and Hard of Hearing community by enabling enhancement in learning and affording attending programs in education. Seeing many DHH individuals without jobs and with very limited support systems in institutions saddens me. I would love to see many more hop on board to become scholars on the ship aiming for success at the other end of the journey.

Thank you very much for taking this time to read my letter of support for the BCDST. If you have any concerns or further questions for me please do not hesitate to approach me.

Testimonial by Ritva McClelland

To whom it may concern; I had applied for a Senior Bursary Application thru the British Columbia Scholarship Trust and the organization had helped me in getting the fund for table and floor loom weaving two years ago. The school which I attended is Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

I would like to see BCDST to continue so that it can benefit other deaf people and their future goals. I plan to go again in the near future to learn more on table and floor loom weaving and I believe it will benefit me to have some supplements to my income.

Thank you.

Testimonial by Yiba Heo

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity in funding BC Deaf Scholarship Trust. Let me introduce myself, my name is Yiba Heo and from South Korea. I moved to Vancouver in 2007 and live on Hemlock Street and W 10th in Vancouver for several years. I decided to take a course that was called “Bakery and Pastry Arts – Pastry” at Vancouver Community College. My former instructors of Deaf and Hard of Hearing program, Marcia Tanaka and Shannon Hougham suggested me to take funding from BCDST, so I received $5,000.00 in March 2015 that was my first time because I have never applied for any scholarship when I studied some programs. I was very indebted to BCDST for financial help and I could study in the course with an untroubled mind. Sincerely, I’d like to see BCDST to continue supporting other deaf people who can’t afford for their education and future goals.

Thank you again for BC Deaf Scholarship Trust. I really appreciate your generous contribution to my education and I will work hard to honor your scholarship commitment .