News Archives: Academic dreams fulfilled thanks to GPRC donors
Friday, April 17th, 2020
Courtney Stevens, 2020 Your Vision, Our Students Featured Student
Attending a post-secondary institution is educational, fulfilling and at times, stressful. Monetary stress affects many students but this can be relieved thanks to the generous bursary, scholarships and awards available at GPRC by valued donors.
This year’s Our Vision, Your Students student highlight is Courtney Stevens, a second year student in the Animal Health Technology Diploma (AHT) program at the GPRC Fairview Campus.
In her two years at GPRC, she’s received four prestigious recognitions. In 2018 she was the recipient of the Fred Trotter Entrance Scholarship, the Fairview Campus Entrance Award and the Clegg Agricultural Entrance Award. Her scholarly achievements continued in 2019 as the recipient of the Bernard & Evelyn Memorial Bursary.
Stevens desire to work with animals sprouted at a young age and she developed her lifelong love of caring for animals when she began volunteering at a clinic when she was 11 years old. Born and raised in the Edmonton area, a very shy Stevens has her mother to thank for the clinic job. Stevens began by cleaning kennels before graduating to reception and then to helping the veterinarians and technologists.
Once she completed high school, Stevens attended the University of Alberta and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts but her sentiments for assisting animals has always been her passion and she decided to enrol in the AHT program.
“I knew I wanted to be an Animal Health Technologist. The manager of the clinic I began working at when I was 11 was a graduate of the AHT program at GPRC Fairview and she’s everything I’ve looked up to since I was a child. My whole life is animals, my whole life is the veterinary industry,” said Stevens.
Tuition and living expenses can be stressful for many students. Thanks to the bursaries Stevens received, she was able to move from Edmonton to Fairview with her furry support system, her pet dog and bird. Stevens’s pets are part of her family and the financial support she was lucky enough to be awarded ensured she could focus on her education and not worry about the typical higher cost of living in pet-friendly environments.
“Bursaries, awards and scholarships meant I could completely focus on my education and not have to worry about my health and the health of my animals or if they would be impacted while I’m concentrating on what I’m in school to learn,” said Stevens.
She chose GPRC Fairview for the incredible hands on opportunities and strong instruction.
“There were many labs and its very hands on which is great. GPRC Fairview is fantastic because the farm is on campus. An amazing education is not free and being able to afford this wonderful program and not having to worry how I’m going to eat is incredible,” said Stevens.
The AHT program is a two year diploma program at GPRC resulting in Stevens returning home to Edmonton to begin her new career as an Animal Health Technologist. She’s returning to the clinic she previously worked at with the mentor who ignited her passion for the field with expansion plans in mind.
“I’m interested in exotic and avian medicine. The medicine is very interesting and birds are becoming a more common pet. Ideally, I’d like to bring avian medicine into where I work now. We have a new veterinarian who just started and our boss has encouraged us to work together as a team and begin the process of providing avian medicine,” said Stevens.
Academic journeys such as Stevens’ are a great example of students who utilizes the monetary support provided by gracious donors to GPRC to its fullest potential. Stevens is grateful to all the generous donors for their support of students as they work to achieve their dreams.
“Thank you so much for helping students, like me, fulfill our dreams and receive the best education we can without the stress and worry. Anyone who experiences those feelings is not fully focused on school. You are helping people fulfill their passion. Students are in school for a reason and you are helping them to achieve their dreams,” said Stevens.
Thank you to all our GPRC donors.
Click here to explore bursaries, scholarships and awards available at GPRC.
Click here to learn more about GPRC's Your Vision, Our Students event.