Most new university grads who land a full-time job are excited to finally move out of their parents’ home. But Michael Robson (BA ’13) is staying put so he can save money to help undergraduate students.
Robson, 24, has pledged $10,000 of his own money over five years to build the Collective Movement Award. The award supports students involved in African, Caribbean or black communities. “One of the reasons I can give so much is because I’m still living at home,” says Robson, who lives in Scarborough while working at a Toronto mortgage firm.
He remembers how hard it was to cobble together finances through scholarships and part-time jobs while a Waterloo student: “For me, an award such as the Collective Movement Award would be another source to help with the costs.”
Robson also recalls how anxious he felt leaving the Greater Toronto Area for his first year at Waterloo. “I knew there would be culture shock, and these clubs gave me a space where I knew that I could fit in and be with others sharing similar experiences.”
The Collective Movement Award provides at least one award of $1,200 annually for a student who can demonstrate they’ve made a positive impact in the African, Caribbean or black communities in Canada.
He encourages applications from students involved in the University of Waterloo African Students Association, the Black Association for Student Expression, and the Association of Caribbean Students – all clubs he was involved with as a student.
“We need to create communities where we’re all helping each other,” he says.
Robson hopes the Collective Movement Award will garner contributions from doing community work. Ultimately, he would like to see the award grow to $40,000 and become an endowment fund, needing only $25,000 more to reach that goal.
“The intention of this award is to not only provide financial support, but also to create awareness and promote a shift towards a collective culture of giving. The support from the community has been great. Even a $10 donation goes a long way to making this endowment a possibility.” says Robson.
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