Student gets financial aid, gives back volunteering
Recipients and donors honoured at Seneca Awards
April 4, 2019
Like many postsecondary students, Jason Stone studies full time and works part time on the side. But while he’s responsible for putting himself through school, the Seneca student also spends a good deal of his time volunteering on campus.
“I’m young. This is the time to work hard. This is grind time,” said Stone, who’s enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Commerce – International Accounting & Finance degree program.
During the annual Seneca Awards reception on Tuesday, Stone attributed his ability to balance school, work and volunteering to the financial support he has received at Seneca. When he’s not sitting in a classroom, he’s a SMILE mentor and an executive with Student Leaders in Accounting and Financial Services, one of the largest student-run clubs at Seneca. Also, as part of the Case Competition Team, Stone recently represented Seneca at the Ontario College Accounting Case Competition.
“Not only does financial aid such as bursaries and scholarships help improve our stress levels, they help to positively reinforce key values and principles that hard work, determination and honest effort are what truly bring success,” he said. “It has allowed me to get involved at school as a volunteer.”
This year’s Seneca Awards took place at the Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at Newnham Campus. The event, which pays tribute to Seneca’s generous donors and celebrates the achievements of its outstanding students, offers an opportunity for award recipients to meet their donors.
As a recipient of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Scholarship, Stone said he’s able to focus on his studies and future ambitions.
“It means so much to me to have this support,” said Stone, who has also received free tuition from the province for the last two years. However, with recent changes made by the current provincial government to eliminate free tuition for students from low-income families, Stone is left with financial uncertainty for the fall.
In the meantime, he continues to work his part-time job, which involves delivering tables and chairs for parties and events. This supplements his income for groceries and living expenses.
“Seneca is an incredible school which provides countless opportunities for its students to broaden their experience and skills and to eventually thrive in the workplace,” Stone said. “We are supported in our academics by hard-working and engaged faculty and administration, but on top of this, we are supported by generous donors.”
With 25 per cent of those who leave Seneca before completing their programs citing financial difficulties as a primary factor, donor support continues to be critical when it comes to student success.
For Professor Suzanne Price, it was the “hundreds of stories” she has heard since coming to Seneca first as a student in 1981 and then as a faculty member in 1987, that has inspired her to establish two scholarships: the Synergy Media Studios Scholarship for Pre-Media (Media & Communications Fundamentals) students and the Price-De Souza Paperclip Scholarship for students taking a second full-time program at Seneca.
“Frequently, financial strife figured prominently as a component of the students’ challenges and hardships,” said Price, a four-time graduate of Seneca. “Their stories have prompted me to rethink how granting a wish might work.”
For more information about establishing your own student award, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416.491.5050, ext. 77285.
Check out our photo gallery of the 2019 Seneca Awards reception.