Housing awards support educational dreams

Fourteen Greater Victoria residents receive 2011 B.C. Housing awards

Maxym Rukosuyev is no stranger to the juggling act of working, studying and being a family man.

His academic dreams, and those of 13 other residents in the Capital Region, have received a cash injection from B.C. Housing, which last week announced the recipients of its 2011 educational awards and bursary program.

Rukosuyev was the only resident in Greater Victoria to win the $1,000 award in the full-time studies category, money which he can put towards tuition and other costs associated with his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

His academic dreams are big.

The fourth-year University of Victoria student, who immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine in 2007, hopes to one day earn a master’s degree in his specialty.

Rukosuyev said the award helps since his studies prevent him from working full time. He currently balances his studies by working part-time as a UVic research assistant and being with his wife and five-year-old son.

“Raising a family, studying at the same time, and trying to get the money together to do all that, without ending up with a huge loan on your buck when you finish your studies, is quite a challenge,” he said. “Every little bit helps.”

B.C. Housing has given out bursaries and awards since 1994 to select applicants living in subsidized accommodation or receiving rent subsidies, attending post-secondary or vocational schooling, are between 17 and 64 years old and are not receiving employment assistance.

“Education provides an opportunity for people to improve their lives

and gain economic independence,” Ida Chong, Minister of Community,

Sport and Cultural Development and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA, said in a statement. “These awards demonstrate our governments’ recognition of these students’ hard work and dedication.”