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Donor supported position stick-handles students to success

Caucasian female sitting at work station

When asked about her work at SAIT, Angela Flanagan tells people that she has the best job ever.

"It combines everything I love!" she says. "Working at SAIT, helping others and watching the most deserving students grow and realize their potential."

Flanagan joined SAIT in 2014 and has held several advisor positions supporting students along their educational journey. In 2018 she joined the team at the Lamb Learner Success Centre as the Bissett Bursary Program Liaison.

The Bissett Bursary Program covers tuition and other fees for Calgary and area high school students who are entering a SAIT program and have demonstrated involvement in their community and academic excellence. Flanagan meets with bursary recipients, reminds them of upcoming deadlines, helps prospective students through the application process, and provides all kinds of support during their journey at SAIT.

“I’m fortunate to have a very unique position,” she explains. “I’m not their instructor or a counsellor. I’m their cheerleader! I am here to listen, offer advice and resources. I’m their ally, and I want the best for them.”

Increased need for support

COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on all students — particularly those going from high school to post-secondary. With the transition to online learning last year, many students were quick to take advantage of Flanagan's support resources. Reflecting the difficult situation many students also faced financially, there was an 85 percent increase in Bursaries awarded in the past year.

Flanagan’s position as liaison has now been made a full-time role within the Lamb Learner Success Centre, in order to meet this increase in demand of applications and current Bursary recipients.

“Now that my role is strictly Bissett Bursary focused, I’m more available to the students,” says Flanagan. “I also have more time to focus on all aspects of the Bursary and think about the specific needs of these students.”

Silver linings

Noting that the transition to online learning has not been easy, Flanagan says there have been some great benefits.

“Students seem to be enjoying the virtual meetings, especially now that they are comfortable with having their cameras on,” she says. “Many have commented that they find it easier to have check-ins virtually because they don’t have to travel to campus.”

She’s even gotten to know some of the students’ pets thanks to the meetings.

“The online orientations and sessions have been very successful, but I cannot wait to do them in person!” says Flanagan. “The students energize me.”

Donors deliver

Flanagan’s position, as well as the Lamb Learner Support Centre and Bissett Bursary Program, are all made possible by support from our incredible donor family. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, this community has stepped up in every way to lend a helping hand to vulnerable and struggling students. The resources available through the Lamb Learner Success Centre have never been more valuable to our students, and it’s because of your support, we can deliver the help they need.

Find out how you can join our family of philanthropy and make an immediate impact at sait.ca/donors/ways-to-give.


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