A trio of Okanagan College Business students envisioned an investment fund that has attracted overwhelming community support, including a generous $40,000 gift from the Stober Foundation.
The group began fundraising in January and met their $100,000 seed funding goal in record time.
Riley Dunsmore and Steven Fiust, both OC Business students, along with recent alumnus Justin Rantucci, created the Okanagan College Student Investment Fund to give students experiential learning opportunities and benefit future students with bursaries and scholarships.
“The reception from the community has been exceptional. I extend my greatest thanks to the donors,” says Dunsmore.
The fund will provide a pool of money for Business students at all four OC campuses to make real-world investments under the supervision and support of a team of expert advisors.
While student-led and managed, the fund will be held and governed by Okanagan College Foundation.
“This fund fits the Stober Foundation’s mission beautifully; it’s progressive, forward-thinking and sustainable in nature,” says Keith Z. Brewster, Director and Lead Philanthropist, Stober Foundation.
The fund aims to provide learning opportunities that will smooth students’ transitions into the working world and boost their resumes.
“Finance is a notoriously competitive field. To get a job, you have to have experience, but to get experience, you have to have a job,” says Rantucci.
The Stober Foundation announced their gift during a surprise visit to a Business class.
“The students did a fantastic job pitching the concept and initiative itself. That, coupled with their selfless motivation to help future generations of students compelled us to step up and support them in a big way. We know our gift is an investment in the future of business in the Okanagan, and we hope our donation inspires others to give,” says Brewster.
Once the fund builds to $500,000, all proceeds will be distributed as bursaries and scholarships to incoming classes of Okanagan College students.
“We are really striving to reach the $500,000 assets under management mark because we know that the additional impact and value that can be generated for students and stakeholders will be incredible,” explains Fiust.
Students are asking for community support to raise the remaining $400,000 to reach this benchmark.
Having these assets upfront, instead of building the fund through investment income alone, will allow more students to participate in the program from its onset. It will also increase the number of awards issued over the course of the program by 400 per cent.
“It’s our privilege to support the students as they work towards their $500,000 goal. Donations to the OC Student Investment Fund will benefit Okanagan College students for generations to come,” says Helen Jackman, Executive Director of Okanagan College Foundation.
To learn more about the Student Investment Fund or to donate, visit https://trellis.org/studentinvestmentfund.
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