The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) recently announced a $450,000 investment in Red Deer College (RDC) that will be directed towards many initiatives including mental health and the College’s Shaping Our Future Campaign.
“A $450,000 donation will make a significant difference in our ability to support student issues, particularly mental health, mental wellness and the student ambassador program,” RDC President Joel Ward said. “That ensures that our students are orientated well and have the opportunity to fit in and be successful.”
According to Ward, the Shaping our Future campaign is about the future of RDC and its ongoing journey to becoming a degree-granting polytechnical institute. The campaign also includes capital projects like the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre and the College’s new alternative energy lab.
“Our future is all about the ability to offer degrees, to expand our student population and the ability to serve those learners who don’t have the opportunity today,” Ward said.
Ward was grateful for RBC’s support for campus issues like mental health.
“RBC has stepped up, as they do across the country, to support mental health and mental wellness issues in post-secondary,” Ward said. “We have been working with them for a number of years and this is another example of their commitment to the communities in which they serve and to post-secondary education.”
Ward explained that the $450,000 investment over four years will go towards career development; supporting mental health and well being; the ability to hire more student ambassadors; the extension of campus services hours of operation; and the ability to provide students access to a 24/7 online health and wellness support network.
RDC Business Administration Student and Student Ambassador Charity Lehn has seen the positive effects of the student ambassador program.
“I got involved because I have always been a busy person and I have always liked being involved with the community – finding opportunities to volunteer and grow my skills,” she said. “You get to be part of your community, give back, volunteer at things and learn new skills through workshops that really help you to better yourself and add value to your college experience.”
Lehn was pleased more student services will be available to access through the RBC investment.
“It will make a huge impact because it will provide programs to students both here and at the Donald School of Business. Students will able to work on their skills and have access to mental health initiatives, which is very important. It will make their college experience better.”
She added, “Mental health is such an important part of the college experience. You have all the stress of exams and everything else, it really can get to you. It is important to have access to those workshops and resources and to know that it is alright to talk about it.”