Salud Espiritu

Awards support adult basic education

NANAIMO – Pieter de Reuver provides financial aid to university students.

Thanks to a long-time supporter of Vancouver Island University, more student awards were handed out at this year’s Adult Basic Education graduation than at any other previous ceremony.

Forty students were the lucky recipients of the Pieter de Reuver ABE Awards, which are worth $500 apiece and available to students who are residents of mid-Vancouver Island. The majority of these awards, intended to help recipients pursue further education, were given to students from Nanaimo and Parksville at last month’s  graduation ceremony.

A dozen other awards were also highlighted at the event, which celebrated its 25th annual ceremony June 16.

Since 2009, de Reuver – a Parksville retiree who previously ran an auto parts and tools business in his home country of the Netherlands – has gifted more than $200,000 to VIU via his self-titled foundation. The VIU Foundation also provided matching funds, resulting in more than $400,000 in student awards.

“We were specifically interested in ABE because it’s a bridging program that allows the students to pursue further education,” says de Reuver. “Education is a very important thing.”

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