NEW GLASGOW — One year after the worst mass killing in Canadian history took place, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County wanted to do something to recognize the incredible show of support that followed and highlight the positivity that came out of the tragedy.
The hashtag #NSStrong became a representation for the caring people of Nova Scotia during the mass shooting and arson in Portapique at that time.
So to honour those lost, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County is offering a community bursary in their memory, the #NSStrong Bursary.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County believes in the value and values of mentoring and provides a variety of mentoring programs for children and youth between the ages of six and 18 that can be life changing. Empowering children and youth through mentoring is the centre of the Big Brothers Big Sisters philosophy,” said Margie Grant-Walsh, executive director.
“In April 2020 Nova Scotia was changed with a tragedy where 22 people were killed in the deadliest shooting in Canadian history. During the time following, Nova Scotia pulled together as it does and supported each other through the close relationships that Nova Scotians have, highlighting as much positivity as possible.”
Establising the bursary, she said, was an honour.
“Everyone in Nova Scotia was impacted. There was a Pictou County connection, and my family also had a personal loss in the tragedy. We thought it might be a nice way to memorialize our lost fellow Nova Scotians with a small bursary of $500. The bursary will be awarded to a Pictou County student whose focus of study is the human service field, and who has been a mentor and has made a positive impact in their school community in a “non-fundraising” capacity. Since many of the victims have children and are now without parents, we thought it was a nice fit.”
The bursary is open to students in Pictou County that are registered in the fall at an educational institution in a human service field of studies. Trish Fraser, president of the local organization adds, “It is an honour and a privilege that we are able to provide a bursary to a deserving student going into the field of human services that will honour those we lost during the April 2020 tragedy.”
Applications are now open and will close on May 31. More information can be found on the organization’s website, www.bbbsofpc.com under What We Do.