Today I set about tracking down one of our 2017 CU Succeed Youth Bursary award recipients. A few weeks back I sent out an email to all recipients asking for video submissions on how their bursary has helped them this school year. Only one of the emails bounced back. I thought that wasn’t bad, I would have expected more.

While reviewing the material being sent off to our auditor this morning, part of the process is to identify any uncleared cheques as of year-end. Aside from a couple issued late in December, there was one from back in August. Turns out it was issued to the same individual that had the undeliverable email address. Worried this person hadn’t received the cheque (like who isn’t going to cash it?) I set about to track her down.

Long story short, I ended up speaking with her Mom. Indeed, she had received the cheque, but didn’t want to cash it so it wasn’t a temptation. Her plan was to use her OSAP loan to cover first term at Brock and use her $2,500 bursary to pay her second term. Her Mom confirmed she recently deposited the cheque and went on to say she was really doing well at university and has become involved with the student association and some clubs.

Turns out, there was another reason for delaying depositing the cheque. She was looking for an institution to open an account.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise, when we distributed the cheques last year, in our letter we strongly invite students to check out local credit unions and provide a link to find one near them. This student went in with her Mom to a FirstOntario branch in St. Catharines and opened an account. Mom went on and on about the excellent service and mentioned she was considering switching to FirstOntario as well.

After getting an updated email address and asking Mom to remind her daughter the CU Succeed Youth Bursary deadline is June 30th, I hung up the phone. I sat thinking, what a great outcome. Here I assumed the obvious, cheque lost in the mail and the applicant didn’t even know, as we notify by mail. Not the case. What I learned was this very deserving student was rocking her classes, continuing with her community engagement, and she and her Mom were very grateful for the bursary.

Those making the CU Succeed Youth Bursary possible, our member credit unions, supporters and sponsors of our June golf fundraiser, should all feel good! Our efforts are making a difference!