Student Type: Transfer Scholarship Recipient

Connor Wellman

I am a West Coast kid, from Vancouver Island. My parents split up when I was young, so I bounced between them a lot – that was tough at times. I was really into biking. My brother and I would go to the skate park or ride out in the forest and nature. But it was music that really saved me. My mom was a big classic rock fan and enrolled me in guitar lessons. So that planted a seed. I got into band class from grades 9 to 12, with a great teacher at Mount Douglas Secondary, and it was amazing. The class was a welcoming, fun, and collaborative space for everybody to learn. Then I picked up the bass guitar so I could join the jazz class, and also learned double bass, and picked up some piano as well.

When I graduated from Mount Douglas, I received encouragement to continue with music. So, I enrolled at Camosun College in Victoria to “dip my toes in” and explore post-secondary music studies. But that program was more performance based, and I really liked the idea of teaching music; of inspiring students the way the teachers at Mount Douglas had inspired me. I decided to apply to the University of Victoria to pursue my education further. I knew finances were going to be tight but, with my mom’s help, I applied for the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship offered by the BC Scholarship Society and was thrilled when I was awarded the $5,000 award. I am really excited about the chance to work with my own students someday. To see them grow and develop. To work on cool arrangements of songs and present concerts with them. I am grateful to the BC Scholarship Society for helping me move toward realizing this dream.

John Ashiru


I was born in Nigeria in 2001. When I was 3 years old, my Dad got a job in Ireland as a psychiatric nurse, and our family moved there. I loved Ireland, but it could be rough too. I remember fighting to defend myself from racial discrimination. Getting chased with box-cutters. That will toughen you up. But in 2011 my family moved to Central Ontario in Canada, and I was awestruck by the beautiful lakes. The forests and farms. Then a year later, we moved to Vancouver, and I fell in love with the mountains and ocean.

I was always athletic. I played soccer in Ireland and Canada, and ran track. But my love of sports was challenged by having tendinitis and scoliosis. So I had to learn how to manage my injuries, and that evolved into my interest in kinesiology. In 2019, I went to Langara college to study anatomy and physiology, and strength and conditioning. I learned how to take a patients history and look for the causes of an injury. In 2022, I started coaching basketball, and helped the players treat their injuries. I also worked with people with developmental and physical disabilities. Since my rough and tumble days in Ireland, playing sports and getting bruised on the streets, I’ve dreamed of helping people heal their own injuries. I’ve seen how profoundly treatment can benefit a life. There are so many people walking around in pain. Suffering with congenital conditions, they think can’t be helped. But they can. I know that from my own experience. I want to alleviate their pain. Help people live their best lives.

So after Langara, I applied to UBC to finish my degree; studying kinesiology with a focus on physiotherapy. I was accepted at UBC, but my family had no money to help me. My parents told me not to lose faith. That prayers get answered. But I had no idea how I’d pay for school tuition, transfer costs, and living costs. I was frustrated. Then I learned about the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship. I guess like a lot of the people, I never thought I’d get it. I don’t know if its a self-esteem thing. Maybe we all have that sense of fear. That we don’t deserve it. That there’s nothing special about our story. But I took a chance and applied, and I was accepted. I was awarded $5,000, which has made it possible to continue my education and pursue my dream. So maybe prayers do get answered, after all.

Jennifer Brooks



I was born & raised in the beautiful Okanagan. I am currently in my 3rd year of the Bachelor of Science and Nursing program at UBCO. I’ve had a strong passion to help others since graduating from High School, when I volunteered through Live Different to became a motivational speaker in schools across eastern Canada, addressing thousands of students on the topic of suicide prevention. I also taught English in Mexico and built homes in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

After my time as a Live Different volunteer, I started working as a care aide, and did that for 7 years. But I began to feel that the scope of my practice was limited; and that pushed me to take my knowledge and skills to a new level. I felt that the BSN program would afford me new opportunities to develop my practice, and take the next step in my career goals.

But going back to school was a challenge for me. It took a year to upgrade my high school courses, so I could apply to the Bachelor of Science and Nursing (BSN) program. As a mature student, upgrading was one of the hardest decisions to make. Not only was I uprooting my life, but I was also giving up my financial stability, to reach this higher goal. I’ve managed to maintain a high GPA, and have made the Dean’s List honor for all 3 years. But it hasn’t been easy.

I also managed to acquire a position at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH), on the Post Anesthetic Recovery (PAR) unit. I had to fight to get the job, but it has been an amazing opportunity. I’ve been working there for the past two years, and it’s provided an incredible platform to expand my healthcare knowledge. It’s broadened my understanding of what Registered Nurses do on a daily basis, and continues to ignite an interest in different branches of nursing such as; Post-Anesthetic, Forensic, and Wound Care nursing. I see myself as working on the front line of healthcare, providing care to some of the most vulnerable populations.

I’m eager to experience more educational challenges, and be exposed to a variety of high-pressure emergent situations. I feel like these moments bring out the best in me, and I’m excited to learn more: to acquire the skills to assess and manage patients in these difficult situations. But I wouldn’t be able to do it without the student loans, scholarships, and bursaries that have made it possible for me to attend school and pay for courses.

So I was thrilled to learn of my selection for the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship, and I am deeply appreciative of that support. I remember when I got the news. I was checking my emails during a lunch break at work when I found out. I immediately shared this wonderful news with a coworker, and became emotional, because she was so happy for me. I felt like all the hard work I’d done had finally paid off; all the juggling studies with work, writing essays for awards, sacrificing time away from friends and family, and applying for scholarships. Getting that award felt like it confirmed all the hopes and dreams I’d nurtured over the years. Like life was telling me …

“You’re on the right track. Follow your bliss”.












I have a huge appetite for adventure, enjoy a good hike, and love to travel, however, most of all, I love spending time with my dog.

Rachel Aussem


I was born and raised in a loving family, in Prince George, BC.  Early on in my life, events occurred that led me to believe that I had to grow up quickly.  I felt alone and anxious, scared about the future and I struggled with depression.   I could not see myself doing post-secondary training. I had found math and science difficult.

Then when I was 16, someone from the BC Crisis and Information Center came to speak at our school.  I was inspired so, I volunteered for the crisis line. At first, I was scared to talk on the phone, but the experience transformed my life.  I felt such a strong connection with the people who called in. Nothing mattered beyond that connection. To be present and vulnerable with them. To let them know, “I’m here with you. I’m here to listen without judgment.” Sometimes at the end of a call the person would tell me, “Thank you. You saved my life” they would say.  But I learned that people actually have the ability to save themselves, and a desire to get well. To go to the light. We just need encouragement sometimes. A little push. A lifeline.

I think that’s what the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship is all about. To give people a helping hand, at a critical time. I’m 21 now and a paid employee at the crisis line, and I love the job so much. When I realized I wanted to make this my life’s work, I enrolled at College of New Caledonia to study social work. But I didn’t have the financial resources to cover tuition and my bills, and the cost of transferring to The University of Northern BC to complete my degree.  I started feeling really stressed about money. So, I applied to the BC Scholarship Society for a Transfer Scholarship, and a few months later, I was awarded $5,000! I’m a 3rd year social work student now and have 1 year left. My dream is to work in a children’s hospital. To help kids deal with grief and loss. To be that caring lifeline for them.

If you want to continue your education too, I encourage you to apply for an Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship. You have to be willing to put yourself out there, to get what you want. It’s not easy to reach out. I know how hard it is for the people on the crisis line to ask for help. It can be hard work pursuing a dream too. But, I think when we do, it benefits everyone around us. Dreams, like hope, are infectious. My other dream is to be a writer, so I’d like to share this little poem, that sums up how I feel:

Here is my plan, my dim little light, my best kept secret, my day’s delight:

I want to help people survive,

I want to be their ray of light.

I want to feel the ocean breeze,

I want to see the stars at night.



Shanna Grant-Warmald

“I am so grateful for the Transfer Scholarship Program which helps students like those of us in nursing. The financial help and the recognition for all the work we do not only as students doing our best in a really difficult program, but also as individuals who give back to the community during COVID makes IKB a wonderful organization”. Shanna Grant-Warmald

Shanna, born and raised in Victoria, is a third-year student at the University of Victoria currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She recently transferred from Camosun College to complete her degree.  The Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship provided her with a $5000 award to make the move a little easier.

For Shanna, to be the recipient of the Scholarship is an acknowledgment for all her efforts at nursing school. “It motivates me to keep studying and continue getting good grades and has removed a big weight from my shoulders, helping me to get a balance in my life knowing I do not need to borrow more money and that I can pay my school fees and the bills”.

After graduating with a master’s in criminal justice and working in this field for seven years, Shanna experienced the aftermath of a car accident in which a child died, then decided to change careers.  “I am a sensitive soul and comforter who likes to connect with people in their difficult emotional times, and that is how I would like to work as a nurse — with a thick skin and a soft heart” says Shanna.

After graduation, Shanna would like to work in the operating room and pursue research with Indigenous peoples about traditional ways of healing. “I know these are big dreams. That is why I have as a reminder a tattoo that is a famous phrase from Thomas Edison: “If we did all the things, we are capable of we would literally astound ourselves”.

Shanna would like to invite all eligible students to apply for a Transfer Scholarship. “Go for it. Do your best and hope for the best. It is a great opportunity for much-needed self-care, and the application is straightforward and not focused only on grades”.

Shanna will continue giving back to the community what she says the community has given to her, and her message to other students is…” Follow your dreams, we are capable of so much more that we think we are”.

Braden Alexander Majic

“Being a recipient of this Transfer Scholarship, it was like a dream coming true, it was the help I was looking for.” Braden Majic

Braden Majic is a young community-oriented leader and a third-year student studying for a  Bachelor of Education degree at Vancouver Island University. His goal-oriented personality contributed to his receiving an Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship.

Braden was born in Campbell River and raised by his single mom with whom he has a great relationship and who has been his inspiration to pursue a post-secondary education.    He graduated from high school in 2019 and attended North Island College (NIC) for 2 years. While at NIC, he decided that he wanted to transfer to another institution to continue with his university education and complete his degree.

Braden recognizes two important factors that have helped him with his studies over the past few years. The first one is that Braden had a plan, and he knew where he wanted to go and what he wanted to study.  The second was an excellent advisor at North Island College who helped him to put his plan into action and to keep him accountable. Needing help to make his plan a reality, he turned to his advisor who told him about the Transfer Scholarship Program.  According to Braden, “It was like a dream coming true, it was the help I was looking for.”

Braden observes that sometimes when students learn about a scholarship, they hesitate about applying. He recognizes that applying to scholarships can be intimidating but he invites other students to overcome that fear and to apply.

Braden’s suggestion, “Become close to a counselor at your institution. The counselor is very helpful and can guide you on which courses to take, how to get where you want to go, and to learn about scholarships. That is where I learned about the Transfer Scholarship.”

Braden explains that receiving the Scholarship was a “big stress relief”. “Moving to another city is monumental, he noted, “especially as a young adult, and the Scholarship was a great relief to me as it covered my whole tuition for a year.”

Braden says that the application process was easy to follow. He likes the fact that he could apply online and considers the Society’s computer application process a great tool.  Braden said. He appreciates that the application takes into consideration not only a student’s academic accomplishments but also their extracurricular activities and volunteer service as well. The fact that the Society considers each student as a whole individual including other social service and activities besides obtaining good grades is very much appreciated.

Braden works as a lifeguard/swimming instructor and has volunteered his time and talents at the swimming pool where he works so that they can offer an education program for people to learn about water safety. He also volunteered watering trees in the Summers of 2020 and 2021, helping the elderly order groceries online, and he says he is always eager to do new things to help people.

One of Braden’s strong skills is to work in collaboration with his peers. As a future teacher he is eager to hear what other people do, their goals and inspirations, and others’ point of view.

Braden will start his practicum next year. “This practicum, no doubt, will help me to get a job. Wherever I am needed I will be there”  he notes and, as he loves British Columbia, hopes to work in the province.

Braden values that Society is making a difference in students’ lives at time of uncertainty, and sadness because of the pandemic.  He expressed this in a letter to the Society acknowledging his Scholarship.    His letter noted that “For every generous act that people do to me, I always make sure to thank that person. In this case I thank the BC Scholarship Society”.

Braden congratulates all other recipients because he says he knows how hard each one of them worked. “To be a recipient is an amazing achievement”.