When Leanne Garvie left Nova Scotia at the age of 16 she swore she’d never enter a classroom again. But after two decades in Toronto as an artist and bartender – what she calls her “life behind bars” – Garvie had a change of heart. She enrolled in a class at U of T’s Woodsworth College. One class somehow led to four years, and now the 41-year-old is the recipient of a BA from the University of Toronto and hopes one day to study law.
Her degree took plenty of hard work, but Garvie says she could not have finished it without financial support – which is why she is grateful for the assistance she received from the Peter F. Bronfman Woodsworth Leadership Scholarship. “With each dollar you receive, there are fewer shifts you have to work,” says Garvie. “For someone like me, trying to carve a new career path, awards like this are crucial.”
The $5,000 scholarship was created in 1996 to mark the passing of Peter Bronfman, chair of Edper Foundation and senior chair of Brascan Corporation. “We wanted to honour Peter’s memory,” says Alan Dean (BArch 1967, MBA 1986), senior vice-president, corporate affairs, for Brascan.
“He was already a donor to Woodsworth College, so it was a natural place to do something.” The award is presented annually to five students in recognition of their high academic standing and contributions to the community. A Peter F. Bronfman Woodsworth Gold Scholarship, worth $10,000, is also awarded each year.