The gift of education

The University Women’s Club of Vancouver (UWCV) has been doing valuable work in their community since 1907 and shows no signs of slowing down.  

“UWCV is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that represents a diversity of women from all walks of life who are united in a commitment to education, advocacy, fellowship and mentorship,” says Laurie Dutton-Jones, who recently became the Chair of UWCV’s Board of Trustees. “We help those who are marginalized gain a voice and equal standing through further education.”

Alongside their other philanthropic endeavors, UWCV established the Trust Fund for Education (TFE) in 1970 to support women’s education. Since then, the TFE has partnered with post-secondary institutions in Greater Vancouver and the Lower Mainland to address students’ areas of greatest need. As of 2021, this fund now supports Douglas College students.

The Community Champion Award is UWCV’s annual $3,000 award designed to acknowledge a Douglas College student’s outstanding achievements or contributions to their community. With preference given to female-identifying students, the award aims to help address gender discrimination and socio-economic barriers women may face as they enter professions that are historically undervalued and systemically inequitable in salary.

This expansion to support more institutions was an important one for the TFE and one they considered very carefully.

“We always try to support the area of greatest need for each individual post-secondary institution we support because the student experience varies so greatly,” says Laurie. “Supporting education is an important way to support the overall economy and wellbeing of Canada. The more educated students we have, the better things will be for everyone.”

The University Women’s Club of Vancouver’s first Community Champion Award will be available Fall 2021 and will continue making a difference in the lives of students for years to come.