New CICan Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary Program to support rural students

Niagara Falls, May 8, 2019 – Thanks to a generous donation of $1 million from Paul and Gerri Charette, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) will offer a brand-new bursary program for students attending CICan member colleges or institutes, with a preference given to those studying in rural, remote, or northern areas. The new bursary program was officially announced yesterday at the closing dinner of CICan’s annual national conference.  

The CICan Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary Program will provide financial support to college and institute students who demonstrate financial needs and face barriers to participate or complete post-secondary education. This year the fund will finance a total of ten bursaries of up to $5,000 each. 

In grade 12, I was given a $200 bursary that changed my life”, said Paul Charette. “Now that my wife Gerri and I are in a position to give back, we want to help students in similar need, and especially those from rural communities who have limited access to bursaries and scholarships. I hope that one day, looking back, these recipients will feel the same way I did many years ago.” 

“We are incredibly grateful to Paul and Gerri for their generous donation that will help make a real difference for students across Canada, and we hope this will pave the way for other donors”, added CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “As we all know, accessing post-secondary education can be a challenge for many rural students, and this bursary will help relieve some of the pressures they face. In doing so, we will not only help them achieve their dreams, but also ensure they are able to contribute fully to their communities.”  

As past President and CEO of Bird Construction, Paul Charette has long recognized the importance of producing graduates who are equipped to meet current industry needs. He is also keenly aware of the challenges faced by rural students and has been a tireless supporter and champion of college and institute education, working with his local colleges and institutes, and serving on the Board of CICan for several years. 

The first Paul and Gerri Charette bursaries will be distributed in September 2019. For more information, go to the CICan website 

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities. 



For more information: 

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Tel. : 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter : @CollegeCan