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Ride around province raises funds for NSCC bursary

Audrey Arsenault, academic chair for the School of Access at NSCC Pictou Campus, and John Smith, manager of student services at NSCC’s Kingstec and Annapolis Valley campuses, pose beside a banner that represents the theme of Smith’s Determination Ride. The approximately 3,400-km bicycle trip around Nova Scotia serves both as an adventure for Smith and a fundraiser for a bursary for Adult Learning Program graduates continuing their education at Nova Scotia Community College campuses.
Audrey Arsenault, academic chair for the School of Access at NSCC Pictou Campus, and John Smith, manager of student services at NSCC’s Kingstec and Annapolis Valley campuses, pose beside a banner that represents the theme of Smith’s Determination Ride. The approximately 3,400-km bicycle trip around Nova Scotia serves both as an adventure for Smith and a fundraiser for a bursary for Adult Learning Program graduates continuing their education at Nova Scotia Community College campuses.

STELLARTON - For John Smith, biking 50 km last year would have been a big trip.

Earlier this week, travelling that distance turned out to be a light day for him, allowing Smith to be finished by lunchtime and relax on the beach.

He’s averaging about 90 km a day, he said, as he stands in the Nova Scotia Community College Pictou Campus lobby where he’s making a pit stop on day nine of his approximately 3,400-km Determination Ride around the province.

RELATED: Ride around province raises funds for NSCC bursary

The name of the trip wasn’t pulled out of a hat: it’s a reemerging theme as the manager of student services at NSCC’s Kingstec and Annapolis Valley campuses speaks about the ride’s purpose – to raise money for students from the Adult Learning Program working towards diplomas and certificates at the college campuses. It’s also what is keeping him going as he cycles across the province, he said.

“All I have going for me is determination to make it happen. And I’m inspired in part by a lot of these ALP students I’ve met over the years who have a goal. They just want to get there; they’re not sure how to get there, but it’s because of their grit and determination and support of one another … that helps them succeed.”

He hopes to raise $25,000, which would ensure an annual $1,000 bursary available to students across the province.

Students in the ALP program don’t have any tuition fees, and entering full-time programs can be difficult financially for some, Smith said.

“A lot of our ALP learners really struggled to connect the dots in their own life in order to come here. So when they’re able to do that, it’s a phenomenal change in those students. … But that biggest barrier is that financial barrier. They might have the will and the determination to come, but they may not have the financial means to move forward. It’s kinda sad when we see them graduate from ALP and not be able to take the next step,” said Audrey Arsenault, academic chair for the School of Access at NSCC Pictou Campus.

Those interested can donate at https://support.nscc.ca/DeterminationRide

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