A lasting gift to support students in Wetaskiwin

July 2, 2024

A lasting gift to support students in Wetaskiwin

A former Wetaskiwin physician and wife are hoping to strengthen the future of hundreds of students, thanks to a large investment in nursing education. Dr. Tuhin Bakshi and wife Dr. Rita Bakshi are donating $150 thousand dollars to support students in NorQuest College's practical nursing program who are studying at the Wetaskiwin Campus.

“I left India with seven dollars in my pocket,” says Rita Bakshi. “I came to Canada to study and had a lot of support through scholarships, so I told myself that one day, if I had enough money, I’d donate some.”

The Bakshis spent nearly 40 years living in Wetaskiwin and say they are grateful for the community and wanted to give back. They say they picked NorQuest College because of its focus on helping students develop the skills that will make them career ready upon graduation.

“We both value education, and we both love to learn,” says Dr. Bakshi. “Education leads to careers, and careers lead to successful futures, that’s why we picked this program and this community.”

The practical nursing diploma is one of the several programs NorQuest College offers at the Wetaskiwin campus to make nursing education more accessible to Albertans. The program consists of in-person and online courses, along with clinical placements, and time spent in specialized labs on site.

As a rural doctor, Dr. Bakshi says he wants to show people the impact they can have when they work in smaller communities. He says he hopes that being able to study closer to home, at the Wetaskiwin campus, will encourage future NorQuest graduates to consider a fulfilling career in a rural centre.

The Bakshis say they also support NorQuest’s efforts to bring education opportunities closer to Indigenous communities. They are hopeful their donation will also help reduce some barriers for Indigenous students looking for a career in healthcare.