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Chasity Stewart

Supporting student success during uncertain times

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the scholarship and bursary I received as a student,” says Chasity Stewart, manager of printing services at Laurier.

Stewart has been a member of the Laurier community for the last decade, overseeing the production and circulation of academic material and marketing resources for the university. Drawing from her own experience, and those of her student team on the Waterloo campus, Stewart understands the financial challenges that come along with higher education.

Last year, 1,834 students received a Laurier bursary, award or scholarship to help them on their academic journey. These student award opportunities allowed these students some extra breathing room to focus on their studies, instead of worrying about money. Stewart has helped to make a direct impact by contributing to the General Student Bursaries fund through payroll donations. Unlike scholarships or awards which include academic and/or merit-based criteria, bursaries are distributed to students who qualify as being in financial need and/or facing financial barriers to their education. This is an especially high-needs fund today as we face the COVID-19 public health crisis.

By now we are all very aware of the new uncertainties the pandemic has brought to the student experience. Early in the spring many students found themselves in urgent need of assistance. Months later, that need continues.

“There is enough stress in the world, especially now in these uncertain times,” says Stewart. “I hope to provide some relief and make a difference in a student’s life so that they can focus on learning.” Stewart recently donated to Laurier’s COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund which directly contributed to bursary assistance for 432 students affected by the pandemic.

“When walking down the hallways at Laurier, I often wonder who has taken these steps in the past, and who will walk these same halls in the future,” says Stewart. This thought hits home a little differently this September, she says. Nearly all Laurier students are learning remotely, and over half of staff and faculty are working from home too.

Even though we may be physically apart, the Laurier community is still coming together.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together,” Stewart says reflecting on one of her favourite quotes, “if more of us give, then the impact will be much more significant.” And she’s right. Stewart is one of over 400 staff and faculty donors who help to enhance the Laurier student experience by contributing to a funding area they care about.

“Philanthropy provides opportunities,” says Stewart. “I feel a strong sense of community by giving back and supporting student success.”

To learn more about directed or general support for student awards, please contact Sabrina Yorke, Development Officer at

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