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A community of champions for SAIT Giving Day

girl in #saitgives picture frame

Champions for change build strong, resilient, inclusive and future-proof communities. For SAIT’s fourth annual Giving Day, 185 champions rose to the challenge contributing more than $131,000 towards student success. While limited to a virtual celebration for everyone’s safety, the SAIT family still came together in a big way.

“It’s inspiring to witness our community — alumni, employees, partners, students and friends — come together like this,” says Tania Brandstrom, Associate Director, Development and Advancement Services at SAIT. “Even during these difficult times, our SAIT family showed what it means to be champions and catalysts for change.”

Starting at 10 am on Thursday, Oct. 15, the first donations began to roll in — and they didn’t stop! For the next 24 hours, SAIT champions contributed a total of $125,973 to support current and future students on their paths to success. The total raised also includes funds from SAIT’s generous matching donors and partners, as well as from Giving Day sponsor Manulife.

“Time and time again, our donor family has demonstrated their commitment to support our students,” says Brandstrom. “And our students see and experience this support every day along their journey.”

A part of the journey

Donors raised over $86,000 towards the SAIT Opportunities Fund (SOF), which supports programs that are not covered by tuition or government grants, like the Peer Mentorship Program. In this program, senior student mentors are matched with first-year mentees to build confidence and enhance essential skills.

For third-year Bachelor of Business Administration and Accounting student and senior mentor Arvie Justine Isidro, helping fellow students means a great deal.

“I love mentoring others, I love seeing others become the person they always dreamed of. I love being part of their journey,” he explains. “I would like to say a very big thank you for everyone, for all of the SAIT alumni and donors who are constantly showing passion towards supporting us and supporting student success."

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Moving the needle

Another priority fund on Giving Day was the SAIT Pride Award. SAIT Pride is an award that recognizes champions who are making changes and doing great things for inclusivity at SAIT.

“Giving Day has made the SAIT Pride Award a sustainable, long-term scholarship,” says John Partington, Associate Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at SAIT. “And with multiple years of funding secured, we can continue to reward students who move the needle forward on LGBTQ+ inclusion and encourage others to get involved.”

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A community for change

As Giving Day officially came to a close at 10 am on Friday, Oct. 16, gifts were still coming through, bringing the total raised to $131,762. This year, the success of Giving Day highlights the power of community to persevere and succeed even through hard economic times and the new realities of COVID-19.

 “The impact of Giving Day goes so far beyond the dollars raised on the day,” says Brandstrom. “It reaches far into the future as we continue to create a culture and community of philanthropy and positive change at SAIT. Change needs a champion, and thanks to our community, change has many.”