2020-2021 Award Recipients

 Voice of Albertans with Disabilities would like to congratulate the following individuals for being a recipient of our Education for Life Bursaries for the year 20-21. There were many deserving applicants from which to choose, and our final decisions were not easily made. Over the past 20 years that VAD has awarded bursaries, we are continually inspired by the broad range of studies that people with disabilities are choosing to pursue. 

On behalf of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities, congratulations on moving forward in your chosen field. Good luck with your studies. A total of ten $500 bursaries, and two $1000 bursaries were awarded. Due to privacy concerns, the names of the award winners have been withheld. 

  • Applied Science, U of BC 
  • Bachelor of Nursing, U of Calgary 
  • Non-Destructive Testing, SAIT 
  • Behavioural Sciences, Ambrose University 
  • Pharmacist Technician, Red Deer College 
  • Health Care Aide, Lethbridge College 
  • Mathematics, U of Alberta 
  • Biological Sciences, U of Calgary 
  • Nursing, Mount Royal 
  • Disabilities Studies, Bow Valley College
  • Bachelor Arts, U of Alberta 
  • Bachelor Commerce, U of Calgary 


To mark the occasion of our 25th anniversary in 1998, Voice of Albertans with Disabilities initiated the Education for Life Bursary program. With this program, we support students who have a disability to achieve their post-secondary goals.

Education for Life Bursary

This program supports students with a disability to achieve their post-secondary goals. To be eligible for the Education for Life Bursary, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a disability
  • Live in Alberta
  • Registered for post secondary program
  • Use the bursary for tuition fees
  • Submit a completed application form to VAD by November 15, 2021
  • Include one letter of reference from an adult other than a family member. (Only one letter of reference will be accepted.)
  • Write a brief biography (max. one page double spaced) including your educational goals.   

Applicants are selected based on economic circumstances and completed requirements.

Elsa Marie Lodewyk Memorial Bursary

Elsa Marie Lodewyk was born on April 18, 1992, with severe Cerebral Palsy and was not expected to live for even a few days. She had a strong will to live, though, and lived a full life for almost 19 years. Elsa’s disabilities meant that she needed help from many people – her parents, siblings, teachers, schoolmates, caregivers, doctors and nurses. She touched the lives of many people with her gentle spirit and had many friends. Elsa showed that life is not what we accomplish but more about our relationships, listening and being a friend. Even though Elsa could not speak, she was able to contribute to the lives of many people and her life had a positive impact on many.

The Elsa Marie Lodewyk Memorial Bursary was established by her family to reflect Elsa’s generosity, kindness and gentleness. She would have been thrilled to know that she was helping another person with a disability.

To the Bursary Recipient: Just like Elsa, your life, too, will have more of an impact on others than you could ever imagine. We hope that this bursary will encourage you to live your life to the fullest and to be all that you can be.

VAD board members and staff greatly appreciate the Lodewyk family’s generosity and contribution to higher education for students with disabilities in memory of their daughter, Elsa Marie.

Robertson-Wesley United Church Bursary

RWUC has a long history and passion for “outreach” service. The E.I. Clarke Memorial Fund was started in 1968 as a memorial to Edwin and Jean Clarke by their son. The intention of this fund is to allow the family to continue to provide service to the community that they were so passionate about – The Oliver community, and Edmonton. The Wesley Fund was established in 1971 when the Wesley United Church building was sold. The proceeds of this sale were invested and the proceeds are intended for outreach projects in our community.

VAD board members and staff greatly appreciate the Robertson-Wesley’s generosity and contribution to higher education for students with disabilities.

Application Process:

All applicants will be considered for the Education for Life, Elsa Marie Lodewyk Memorial and the Robertson-Wesley United Church Bursary. No additional application is required. The successful candidates will receive a one-time bursary of $1000 from the Elsa Marie Lodewyk Memorial Bursary, or a one-time bursary of $1000 from Robertson-Wesley United Church Bursary or $500 from the Education for Life Bursary.

Download a 2021 Education for Life Bursary Bursary Application Form