By Darren Lum
Tory Hill resident and recent Haliburton
Highlands Secondary School graduate,
Hailey Alden got a hand up this year
towards giving back by becoming a nurse
with the WFG Bursary Award, which is
awarded by the Wilberforce FUNraising
Group for the 2021-2022 academic year.
The WFG is a local nonprofit group
that is dedicated to the betterment of the
Wilberforce community. The bursary is
“awarded to a student from the Wilberforce
area who will be attending post secondary
education, with preference given
to students entering their first year of post
secondary education,” as per the group.
Alden, who grew up in Tory Hill and
graduated from Wilberforce Elementary
School (WES), said she learned about
receiving the $500 bursary in September
and welcomed the funds to cover her
books for her first year at Canadore College
in North Bay.
“Being able to use the money for my
text books made it a lot easier on my bank
account to pursue my goal of becoming
a nurse. Speaking as someone that
has a chronic medical condition, I know
how much one understanding nurse can
change the experience someone has in the
hospital. Just knowing that from my own
life experiences is what’s motivating me
to want to help people,” she wrote in an
Alden said she sent in her application
for the bursary with the hope of alleviating
the financial strain related to paying
for post-secondary education.
“I figured the more money I saved, the
more money I’d have to put towards the
bridging program from RPN to RN after
my program is done,” she wrote, referring
to the Practical Nursing Program and the
Registered Nurse program.
Last year, when WES and Cardiff Elementary
School principal Elaine Fournier
retired, she asked the community to make
donations to the bursary in lieu of gifts
for her. WFG appreciated her gesture and
her long-standing support of the children
in the community during her time at the
Kathy Rogers of the FUNraising Group
was happy to continue to offer the bursary
“It is great that we can award the bursary
again – it is very gratifying to hear
about our local community kids going
out to further their education and explore
the world. It feels great to be able to help
them with this small gift from the community.
All of the recipients have been
great community members and we wish
them all the success. We plan to keep this
bursary available for many years of graduating
students within the local Wilberforce
area,” she wrote in an email.
Alden said it’s her parents, Rob Alden
and Brenda Peckford, who have not only
always been there for her, but are her
inspiration to be her best.
“They’ve always been supportive in
what I want to do and they’ve always
done what they could to help me reach
my goals, even if that means driving up to
North Bay to see me,” she said.