Boccioletti Legacy Lives On
Thursday, September 9th, 2021
Boccioletti family donates $100,000 to create James Boccioletti Memorial Bursary.
Grande Prairie, Alberta - Investing in Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) is a long-standing tradition for the Boccioletti family, and now their name will forever be connected to student support and achievement.
On September 9, 2021, GPRC officially announced a new philanthropic bursary specifically designed to encourage local community members to persevere with their higher education goals.
“The establishment of the James Boccioletti Memorial Bursary has been made possible thanks to a generous $100,000 endowment to GPRC,” says Bridget Hennigar, GPRC Board of Governors Chairperson. “This is a wonderful gesture that we know will help broaden academic pathways for many students well into the future.”
Two $2,500 bursaries will be issued annually to deserving students in northwestern Alberta. By designing the award and selecting the criteria, the Boccioletti family is adding yet another chapter to their lengthy story of giving in the community.
“Jim and I always felt strongly that to see Grande Prairie continue to grow, the community needed to keep its youth from moving away to larger cities,” says MaryHelen Boccioletti. “Our donations have been underpinned by a desire to nurture those lasting connections and to ensure that local post-secondary education is readily accessible and attainable.”
Over the last 14 years, the former Canadian Tire store owners have actively supported the institution with more than $350,000 in donations, including holding title sponsorship of the President’s Ball since 2005 and the Wolves Golf Classic, starting in 2006.
“I am so grateful for our time in Grande Prairie,” says MaryHelen. “We met wonderful people who became great friends, and Jim and I had the opportunity to be involved in supporting many important organizations such as GPRC.”
This new scholarship reflects the Boccioletti’s enduring commitment and the couple’s shared interests, values and priorities. It is also an excellent example of how the act of giving can make a profound difference to the both the donors and recipients. After Jim Boccioletti passed away in February 2020, MaryHelen wanted to continue their tradition of paying it forward.
“The hope is that each year, these bursaries will relieve some of the financial pressure for local students so that they can focus on achieving their educational goals,” MaryHelen adds. “Our family is really honoured to be able to touch the lives of students for years to come.”
A bursary can unlock opportunity. This type of financial aid does not need to be repaid and it can really help students make a dent in tuition, books, and living expenses. Studies have also shown that those who receive support are able to free up more time for studying and learning. This is an important component for reducing drop-out risk, but it can also be the spark that inspires people to continue their education beyond achievement of their first certificate, diploma, trade, or degree.
Like the Bocciolettis, GPRC understands that when financial hurdles are minimized, students can focus on education and career goals.
“The kindness from individuals and groups can smooth the path for those looking to advance their education and develop a foundation for a meaningful career,” says Dr. Glenn Feltham, acting President and CEO. “Be it though a bursary, scholarship, targeted donation, or planned gift, there are many ways to leave a lasting imprint in the learning community.”
For more information on available student support, please visit Student Financial Aid. If you would like to explore other opportunities to enhance the student experience, please visit Giving to GPRC.