PR Program Donates Bursary Fund to Windsor Youth Centre
Windsor, Ontario - As students from the second graduating class of St. Clair's Public Relations program cross the stage and receive their diplomas today, they can do so knowing that they helped others in the community do the same someday.

To end their journey at St. Clair, they decided to give back to the community and raised money to donate a post-secondary education bursary fund to the Windsor Youth Centre.

Using all the public relations skills they had just acquired during the two-year program, they rallied together and were able to raise $2,000, which was donated to the Windsor Youth Centre during an event they hosted April 29. The money will be used by WYC as bursaries, which will be awarded to young individuals in the community who are facing financial burdens as they pursue a post-secondary education.

#StudentsHelpingStudents event chairs Savanna Todd (centre) and Omar Nizam present a cheque for $2,000 to a volunteer from the Windsor Youth Centre
#StudentsHelpingStudents event chairs Savanna Todd (centre) and Omar Nizam present a cheque for $2,000 to a volunteer from the Windsor Youth Centre.

"Many of us – whether returning adult students or right from high school – knew what it was like to not be able to put textbooks as our financial priority and also knew how the assistance of bursaries helped to make sure we had all the resources we needed to reach our highest academic potential," said second-year PR student Laurie Harrison, who was a member of the fundraising committee. "Being in PR, we wanted to be able to use the skills that we were taught in this program to make a difference in future students' lives, so we specifically wanted to do something education based and that would involve bursaries."

They called the event #StudentsHelpingStudents. The evening featured awards given to students who attained academic success and outstanding accomplishments during their two years.

"We wanted to assist students in a way that would help better their education," explained Harrison. "That was where we also got the name for the event, #StudentsHelpingStudents."

Prior to the event, there were several fundraising initiatives led by the students to raise money for the WYC.

"In addition to approaching local businesses and receiving sponsorships to help fund the event, we also held three fundraisers to ensure we would be able to present a significant amount that would assist many students," explained Harrison.

The first fundraiser was through a company that was started by a student as a result of this program called Loving Lines Pet Sketches. A campaign was started that for every personalized pet sketch that was sold, half of the proceeds went to the cause.

The second fundraiser was a bottle drive that ran for the duration of the semester. Local bars, friends, family and students all donated empties that were collected once a week and returned.

And the third fundraiser was a 'Dress for Success Yard Sale' that was intended to help two students with every item sold.

"Local professionals donated gently used and new men's and women's professional items that were sold at our yard sale at the main campus," said Harrison. "These items would assist students in putting together professional wardrobes for internships, job interviews and new careers at affordable prices. The proceeds from the yard sale helped the PR program present a cheque the WYC to help post –secondary students through bursaries."

For every ticket sold for the #StudentsHelpingStudents event, $5 was put toward the bursary fund.

"With all of the hard work, dedication and determination that was put into this event, I feel we exceeded our expectations," said Harrison.