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Annual Report on Giving 2018-19

ASPIRING HIGHER Students achieve big goals, thanks to your support

Your impact on students by the numbers:

701 awards

presented to

492 students


I’m really grateful. Without this award I probably wouldn’t be in this program, I would have had to leave because of the costs.

~ Jessica Jones

in scholarships, bursaries and awards


new awards created

Average award amount

$1,203 2

There are no words for how grateful I am. This scholarship has given me a hand up, relieving the financial pressure I’ve been facing.

~ Mustafa Zakreet

From adrift to academic achievement Recently accepted into the University of Victoria’s Physics program, Brandon Katerberg is living his dream. However, several years ago Brandon would never have imagined pursuing a post-secondary education. A broken leg resulted in his return to school after learning he could no longer work physical jobs. Starting school at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus was a welcoming change for Brandon, who says he felt accepted and encouraged from the start. While initially planning to pursue an Arts degree, Brandon discovered his talent for physics and mathematics. Seeing this potential, Brandon quickly changed his focus to science. Two student awards from donors made it possible for Brandon to pursue full-time studies and excel in class, earning a 98 per cent in calculus and a 96 per cent in physics.

It feels so great to have some financial relief. It’s also validation of my work, which feels good. As for his future, Brandon’s only looking forward.

“I feel a sense of purpose. I feel that the work I am doing will one day pay off to society in some way,” “I’m a happier, more focused person overall.”

~ Brandon Katerberg

Student follows courage Your support enables students to truly experience their education by learning in state-of-the-art buildings, spending more quality time on studies and pursuing meaningful extra-curricular activities. Shantelle Bishop received two student awards. Read her first-hand account of her time at OC’s Penticton campus:

“Okanagan College has brought me so many opportunities and given me a sense of pride and ownership. Okanagan College has given me the opportunity to be something greater and to push myself to be the best I can be. Okanagan College has given me courage – courage I never knew I had. It gave me the courage to be the executive chairperson for the students’ union for two years. It gave me courage to push myself way out of my comfort zone, to try harder and make a difference in my life and a significant impact on my fellow students. I think courage is the most important trait to obtain in life and I am proud to say that my College has given me that.”

~ Shantelle Bishop


Year in review Income Total revenue

$5.15 Million Student support


Program support


Capital projects


Investment and other income


Second LEED Platinum building In fall of 2018, the Kelowna Trades building received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Platinum certification. Okanagan College now has two of the 14 Platinum-certified buildings in all of Canada’s post-secondary institutions.

Expenses Total expenses

$1.94 Million Student support


Program support


Fundraising and other expenses


Note: Net revenue is designated for future capital and other projects.


Kathy Butler retires After 15 years serving as the Foundation’s Executive Director, Kathy Butler retired in December 2018. Kathy leaves a legacy of success and accomplishment having helped raise more than $35 million for capital, scholarships, bursaries and program support at Okanagan College. We are grateful to Kathy for her leadership and dedicated service to students and our organization.

Your support helps Enactus team win gold at national competition At the Enactus national pitch competition, featuring the best universities and colleges in Canada, Okanagan College students placed first and third in two separate categories. Enactus is a non-profit, student-run organization that develops and implements projects in communities to improve the quality of life and standard of living across the region. A team of Okanagan College students won gold for their startup CANsave, a financial literacy project that aims to inspire kindergarten and elementary-level students to learn about budgeting, saving and distinguishing good debt from bad debt. Winning bronze, FruitSnaps is a project that repurposes fruit that is destined for landfill into healthy snacks. FruitSnaps Project Manager Abbey Lagerquist also took home the Project Leader of the Year Award. Behind these significant wins is a lot of hard work and talented students, as well as your support. Six out of the eight students on the winning Enactus teams received one or more student awards from the Okanagan College Foundation or Okanagan College. The awards are what allow students to pursue extracurricular activities like Enactus, giving them the confidence and skills to continue leadership in the community after they graduate.

“Education has been incredibly transformational for me. It has opened doors that I couldn’t have imagined four years ago and created opportunities I would never have thought of. For self-funded or mature students, awards have a major financial impact. It’s incredibly difficult when you have to choose whether you’re going to be studying or working that night. These awards help alleviate some of that burden and take that consideration away. It allows students to study harder, it allows them to engage in extra-curricular activities that might change their lives and it allows them to serve their community. I’d like to extend my very sincere gratitude and appreciation to Okanagan College donors for their support. Know that what you’re doing is meaningful, impactful and changes peoples’ lives.”

~ Mitchell Folk CANsave team member Valedictorian, 2019


Our students, your health

Okanagan College graduates are at the heart of our health-care system, providing vital support across our community. However, the world of health care is rapidly changing. We urgently need to invest in a new Health Sciences Centre to ensure students are equipped to meet the needs of our community.

The case for the new Health Sciences Centre Health care impacts all of our lives in so many ways. Every day, the lives of our families and loved ones are touched by a wide range of caring, skilled professionals.

Campaign goals

$1.5 M

Equipment, scholarships and bursaries

$3.5 M

Building costs

$15.4 M Provincial government contribution

Okanagan College has been training health professionals for more than 55 years. Over 11,000 students have walked through our doors and out into communities to fill vital roles in hospitals, community care, rehab clinics and care facilities.

The Centre will mimic real-life health-care environments and feature modern hands-on labs for every program.

However, our current Health building dates back to 1963 and can no longer support the quality of education Okanagan College is renowned for.

With an aging demographic, the new Health Sciences Centre will also increase our capacity to educate more students in high-demand areas.

We need your help to reach our $5-million fundraising goal to build a new $18.9-million Health Sciences Centre on our Kelowna campus.

Your gift will touch countless lives, as each one of our students will work with a range of clients throughout their career, amplifying your impact.

okanagan.bc.ca/healthcentre 6

To learn more or donate contact Helen Jackman: hjackman@okanagan.bc.ca

Retired nurse plans legacy gift Sharon McKenna remembers how excited she was to be accepted into the first class of Diploma Nursing (RN) students at Okanagan College in 1976. Sharon, who went on to get her PhD and practise in the United States and Canada, credits Okanagan College for preparing nurses to be innovative long before it became common practice. Already a Psychiatric Nurse, Sharon had been trained to follow doctor’s orders, but found the College was offering a more progressive model that saw nurses as part of a team; where their knowledge and skills could be integrated with other disciplines including medicine, pharmacy, physiotherapy and nutrition, to name a few.

“At the time I didn’t realize how forward-thinking our education was,” recalls Sharon.

“Everything I learned in nursing started with the foundation taught at Okanagan College. Those were the best days of my life. I loved every minute of my time at OC.” Sharon’s fond memories have inspired her to leave a gift to the College in her estate. Her gift will be made to honour the memory of Marcia Aitkens,

Anne Kirkpatrick with Sharon McKenna (right)

a founding member of the Okanagan Vocational School, a precursor to Okanagan College. Marcia’s vision for a Practical Nursing program paved the way for other health programs to be established at the College. Sharon adds she hopes her gift will ensure Okanagan College continues to foster a sense of excellence in its students while meeting community needs.

“You can’t expand or keep good ideas going

unless you have funding. There are so many people in this community who have been shaped by OC, I hope my gift honours this legacy,” she says.

Caring starts here: Jane Hoffman’s story “My mother-in-law passed away in a seniors’ care home. When someone you love is palliative, it can be so hard to leave them alone when they are so vulnerable. I am grateful to share that I never felt that way with my mother-in-law. The Health Care Assistants who were caring for her genuinely cared about her wellbeing – as well as ours as her family. They knew so many little details about her and her life, I felt so comforted knowing they were there when I could not be. Even my son commented that he felt his grandma was in good hands.

I care deeply about this community and I want to make sure that we all have access to quality healthcare professionals. Excellent caregivers are born out of excellent education, and they need access to state-ofthe-art training spaces and technology. That is why I am proud to be supporting the new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College. I built my career and raised my son here and I’m proud our family calls Kelowna home. I know the new Centre and the students who will train there will make a lasting impact on the health of our community.” ~ Jane Hoffman, founder of the Jane Hoffman Real Estate Team


Modern buildings help College exceed enrolment targets For the 14th year, Okanagan College has successfully exceeded the provincial government’s enrolment targets for domestic students. The College is the only post-secondary institution – college or university – that can consistently make this claim. New buildings, supported by donors, have played an important role in helping the College attract students. Last year, you helped open three new buildings, the Vernon Trades Training Centre, Penticton’s Child Care Centre and Kelowna’s Trades Training House. As a result of the opening of the Vernon Trades Training Centre, the College is the second largest trades training institution in the province.

Your generosity is providing students with world-class learning environments that celebrate them, their chosen career paths and the future of their trades.

Your impact over time

More than $11M awarded to students

Your support along with others in our community is making an incredible impact. Look how much you’ve helped us achieve since the Okanagan College Foundation was created nearly 20 years ago:

Over $13.75M raised for new buildings


5 new buildings

constructed, all raising the bar on sustainability

Jacobsen legacy creating centre of excellence in automotive training

How the gift is impacting students The $1-million gift, announced in September 2018, has already led to several major enhancements:

New equipment Industry-standard machines and equipment have been purchased to help students learn on the same technology they’ll be using when they enter the workforce.

Alternative fuel training The largest gift ever to support Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus is accelerating a centre of excellence in automotive training and opening doors for students. Muriel Jacobsen and her children Rhonda and Shayne donated $1 million to support the Kelowna Trades Complex in honour of their late husband and father, Ron Jacobsen. Ron owned and operated Jacobsen Pontiac Buick for more than 40 years.

My dad always wanted to give back to the community that supported him. As someone who loved and valued the importance of learning and improving, he would be delighted to know his success is supporting future automotive leaders.

Two electric charging stations have been installed to teach students about working on electric vehicles.

Refreshed shop and expanded space The automotive shop was painted and the floor plan will be updated this fall to resemble the service flow in modern shops. An additional fully equipped service bay has been added, along with additional storage for students’ tools.

New curriculum development A new Automotive Service Technology Diploma program is set to launch in September 2019.

Student support Approximately $200,000 of the $1-million gift will be used for student support.

~ Rhonda Jacobsen-Lebedoff 9

Your support lifts Olympic hopeful This summer when other students are enjoying the beach or a break from classes, recent Okanagan College graduate Hannah Mehain will continue an intensive training program as she keeps her sights on the 2022 Winter Olympics. Hannah is an accomplished cross-country skier, who earlier this year travelled to Finland to compete as part of the Canadian World Junior U23 Championships team. Now she is adopting a more ski specific year-round training program, including roller skiing, strength training, mental training and improved nutrition in order to be at her personal best for future competitions. An upcoming local event is the 2020 National Championships, which will be held in Vernon, B.C. While such intensive training takes an incredible amount of time and effort, Hannah is also excited to be continuing with her studies at UBC Okanagan in the fall. She’s earned an Associate of Science Degree from Okanagan College and will be taking more courses in biology and physics.

I’m fortunate l that I have been able to get this far with both my studies and sport and that’s largely due to the funding from donors. I’m really grateful for the support Okanagan College has given me – the professors, the staff, the donors, everyone who has helped me navigate through my degree and succeed in what I’m pursuing.

~ Hannah Mehain

Students love Okanagan College














Grad pays it forward Okanagan College Foundation employee Suzanne Newton received a number of student awards that enabled her to graduate with a business degree. Thinking about the generosity she received from complete strangers still brings tears to Suzanne’s eyes.

“I know the crunch of relying on student loans and worrying about money,” says Suzanne, who was raising her son while going to school. Now, she’s paying it forward, setting up a $1,000 annual bursary for any student on the Penticton campus.

Thank you for aspiring higher As a valued donor, we are grateful to you for aspiring higher too. By choosing to invest in students and the College, you are actively shaping the community and future of the place you call home. You are creating opportunities and building a better future for us all. You are fostering a culture where educational goals can be achieved regardless of financial ability. You are developing a place where talents are discovered and new skills learned, which flow back into our workplaces, enhancing our economy and wider community. As we look back over this past year, we’d like to thank the great leadership we are following. Former Foundation Executive Director Kathy Butler retired after 15 years of incredible impact. Sharron Simpson served as President of the Foundation Board of Directors for two years, and as a Board Director since 2013. We hope you are as proud as we are of student success and the College’s performance this year. These achievements are also yours. On behalf of our team and students, thank you for investing in Okanagan College.

When I saw other people were willing to invest in me and my future, I said to myself that one day I would be in a position to do the same for another student.

~ Suzanne Newton

Helen Jackman Executive Director Okanagan College Foundation


$91,047 from

69 alumni donors

Gladys Fraser Chair Okanagan College Foundation


Please contact us at:

Okanagan College Foundation

1000 KLO Road, Kelowna B.C., V1Y 4X8 Phone: 250-762-5445, ext. 4773 Toll-free: 1-888-650-6968 Email: foundation@okanagan.bc.ca Website: okanagancollegefoundation.ca Charitable registration tax number 86248 8194 RR0001


Stay in touch: facebook.com/okanagancollegefoundation instagram.com/okanagancollegefoundation

Profile for Okanagan College

Annual Report on Giving 2018-2019  

Aspiring higher: students achieve big goals thanks to your support.

Annual Report on Giving 2018-2019  

Aspiring higher: students achieve big goals thanks to your support.