To contribute to reconciliation and help prepare the next generation for jobs in our industry, DCC is proud to sponsor two $2,500 bursaries for Indigenous post-secondary students.

The bursaries, offered through the national Indigenous educational charity Indspire, are open to students in engineering, planning and environmental sciences programs. The inaugural recipients are Jessica Benoit and Trey Laforme-Hess.

Jessica, 21, has just finished her third year in the mechanical engineering degree program at Memorial University of Newfoundland. A member of the Qalipu First Nation from the small western Newfoundland community of Port au Port, she is spending the summer working onsite in Argentia, about 90 minutes outside of St. John’s. There, she is part of a large team building a concrete gravity structure for the West White Rose offshore oil field.

By the time she finishes her degree in 2025, she will have completed five work terms, often in far-flung locales where she has to pay rent. She notes that the bursary has been very useful in offsetting her expenses. “It helps pay for living and tuition and books and whatever’s needed, which is awesome.”

Trey, 18, is a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation from the New Credit reserve near Hagersville, Ontario. He has completed his first year toward his civil engineering technician diploma at the Niagara College campus in Welland, about an hour from New Credit, where the bursary covered most of his rent for the year. “It was a big help.”

After he finishes the two-year program, he may take a second diploma in construction engineering technology or he may move right into the workforce. His career interests include project management and wastewater engineering.

A class talk by a Niagara College graduate now working in project management sparked Trey’s interest in that specialty. “He was telling us everything he did, and there’s a lot,” he says. “You definitely wouldn’t get bored.”

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