After seeing the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta’s sign, Pedersen applied for and received the Aquatera Environmental Fund student award from the foundation.
“Without this grant that I received, I would have discontinued my studies in my first year most likely, as I couldn’t afford food at the time with the cost of living and education,” said Pedersen, who was recognized with the Paul J. Evaskevich Valedictorian Award 2014 for her contributions to college life and for her academic excellence after completing her Business Administration certificate at GPRC.
Pedersen went on to complete her Business Administration diploma, majoring in Marketing at GPRC, during which time she served as chair of the lobbyist organization Alberta Students’ Executive Council and the Vice President Executive Outreach of the Students’ Association of GPRC.
She went to work for the Grande Prairie and District SPCA as Fund Development, Volunteer, and Community Relations Coordinator for eight months after graduation before heading west to B.C. to continue her post-secondary education at Simon Fraser University.
Pedersen is completing a Bachelor of Arts in a joint minor of Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, and Women Studies, fulltime online, while running her own small marketing and advertising company, Pedersen’s Solutions, as well as working as a studio manager of a professional photography studio.
She has also been pursuing her passion for art as an abstract painter, having had her work featured in two galleries.
For Pedersen, the funding from the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta was integral in her post-secondary journey.
“It’s funding options like I received that make all the difference in post-secondary education. With the rising cost of the living, it’s frightening to be a student,” she said, adding, “Students are fighting hard to obtain their education, never stop amazing funding options like this. Community Foundation has been an incredible support to the community and is an integral part of a lot of people’s futures. Thank you for the work you all do and the outstanding support you have provided to the community.”
Applications for student awards will be available in the spring at the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. Join our newsletter and watch for updates on our website.