Post-secondary education can be challenging as it is, but imagine tackling the workload with a visual impairment.
The Picture Butte Lions Club is hoping its recent donation will provide new opportunities for students who dream of pursuing an education but might have more barriers to overcome than others.
In November 2022, the Picture Butte Lions Club provided a $50,000 gift to the University of Lethbridge to establish the Picture Butte Lions Club Award for Visually Impaired Students. It was the first donation to be matched by the University, following last October’s announcement the Board of Governors’ $10-million pledge in match funds for the establishment of new endowed student scholarships.
“The original mandate of the Lions group is to help the visually impaired,” says Doug Jackson, Picture Butte Lions Club board member.
That mandate goes back to the early 1980s, when the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides began providing trained guide dogs to Canadians with disabilities. With this recent donation to the University of Lethbridge, they will be making a difference for students with visual impairments with immediate and everlasting impact through endowed student scholarships. It is an important step in making the University more inclusive for all.
“University of Lethbridge students are here because they want to get ahead in their lives,” says Jackson. “The scholarship is to help give students who want to get ahead but might be held back because of disabilities a step up.”
Each year, the Picture Butte Lions Club Award for Visually Impaired Students will go to a continuing or entering undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in any degree program with a documented disability. The award will be given based on academic achievement, with preference given for financial need. The first award will be given out in the 2023/2024 academic year.