The grad class of 2021 in the Central Okanagan has received an unexpected gift.
Every Grade 12 student in School District 23 is being gifted $500.
“This is such a great way to end a very challenging year for Grade 12 students,” said Ryan Stierman, secretary-treasurer with SD 23.
Stierman said there are some 2,000 students in the district, meaning the donation is about $1,000,000.
“This is something that does not occur very regularly,” said Stierman.
The money is being donated by a mystery couple by the names of Lance and Tammy.
Students are being made aware of the generous donation Thursday with a letter attached from the donors.
It reads: “Dear Class of 2021, congratulations on making it through these last 16 months of extremely challenging times! We applaud you for overcoming the many obstacles you have faced from online learning condensed semesters, loss of time with friends, cancellation of sports and very non-traditional graduation ceremonies and celebrations. We want you to know how proud your community is of each and every one of you for persevering in these unprecedented times and succeeding!
“As recognition for your efforts we will be gifting $500 to each Grade 12 student in the School District 23. Please use the funds where you see fit, whether it be put towards your education, tools or personal protective equipment for the trades or mental health needs.”
The letter is then signed off with the statement: “Wishing you the very best as you turn the page and start a new chapter in life, Lance and Tammy.”
Other than their first names, nothing else is known about the couple.
“This couple has requested privacy, so the only information that they wished to be disclosed was in the letter and so we are respecting their privacy but we have privately expressed our gratitude,” Stierman said.
The school district has developed a registration system allowing students to apply for their $500 gift online.
“It was such a great opportunity for students that you know, we really as a school district wanted to try and do whatever we could to try and facilitate this great opportunity,” Stierman said. “We were required to develop a process to ensure that we can ensure that the students are submitting their information and that their privacy is being respected.”
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, June 23 by 11:59 p.m.
The submission form will not be available after the deadline.