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Persistence pays off to the tune of $300,000 at John Abbott College

Updated: Feb 25


Image courtesy of John Abbott College

Earlier this semester, John Abbott College Nursing department teacher Ute Beffert opened an email that instantly changed the stress level for 180 students… they just didn’t know it yet.

The email was sent by CEWIL (Co-operative Education & Work-Integrated Learning) Canada. They are a national organization whose mission is to create future-ready students through quality work-integrated learning (WIL) initiatives.


John Abbott Nursing program students, who traditionally have periods of practical work in hospitals as part of their curriculum, stepped in to care centres this past year, like so many around the world, and onto the front lines of the mind-blowing scene that was, and still is, the COVID-19 pandemic.



For those students juggling their studies, financial obligations, worries of keeping family members virus-free, alongside their commitment to support the heroes on-site in Montreal-area hospitals, the announcement that they have been granted hundreds of thousands of dollars from CEWIL is, to say the least, incredible. The Nursing Program project has been funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work- Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada's iHub.


“Students were shocked!”
- Nursing department Chairperson Gloria Jaramillo.

“We hadn’t said anything until this week. With the pandemic, the timing of this could not be better. It was a real breath of fresh air from all the pressure.”


“Given the amazing commitment it takes to be a nurse these days and the stress involved in this program, I felt, if we had a shot at this funding…why not give it a go and see if we can help these students become more successful” added Ute Beffert.

Image courtesy of John Abbott College

Students and teachers alike cheered and laughed as the announcement was made that 180 students from Day Division, Internationally Educated Nurses and the Intensive Nursing groups at the College would each be receiving $1,800 for a total of $324,000. Recipients can use the money for anything they wish; school fees, self-care, public transit pass – anything at all that contributes to the time they can spend on their studies.


Minutes after the announcement, students were asked: What does this mean for you? How do you feel?


"Feels freaking amazing!" – Megan


"Grateful" – Charlotte;


"Appreciated and feel motivated to work harder" - Brittany


"Excited, just very excited! Kind of in shock. It really takes a lot of pressure off financially."

- April


"I am extremely excited because now I can put some money towards my apartment, so it really helps me feel secure for my future!"- Cherise


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