It was 2:00 a.m. in the dead of winter last year in South Korea when Piratheepan Kamalakanthamurugan read the email that would shape his future career and potentially change the lives of others.
“I was teaching English in a small town to pay off some student debts,” says Deep, as he’s called. “I phoned my mother in Canada straight away with the great news that I’d been awarded a Campus Community bursary.”
“By covering many of my first year expenses at McGill, the award broadened my career choices, allowed me to concentrate more on my studies and lessened the pressure to focus on a well-paid job straight after graduation.”
Deep’s parents left Sri Lanka during the 1980s to escape the horrors of the civil war and moved to B.C., where he was born. The family’s experiences have left a lasting impression on the young law student.
“I’m trying to help others through my volunteer work at the Canadian Council for Refugees,” he says, referring to a Montreal-based NGO devoted to protecting the human rights of refugees and immigrants.
“I was attracted to McGill by the reputation of its International Law program. A career in this field would be very worthwhile and satisfying, but I’m aware that it’s not the most lucrative goal for a law graduate.”
“That’s why a bursary can be so important to students’ future careers.”
Established a decade ago, the Campus Community Bursary Fund aims to help McGill reach its ambitious goal that no qualified student should be prevented from studying here because of financial constraints.
Donations to the fund are placed in a special pool used to create new scholarships and other sources of support for deserving students. This year, nearly 100 students have received bursaries of varying amounts.