Métis student a repeat recipient of the Indigenous Scholarship Program

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

Quintin HelmThough he’s now in his second year of post-secondary studies, Quintin Helm has only really been experiencing the full university life for the first time during the 2021-22 academic year.

Helm, a 19-year-old member of the Metis Nation of Alberta, is a finance student at the University of Calgary.

But during his first year of university studies, Helm remained in his hometown of Okotoks, located about 50 kilometres south of Calgary.

That’s because Helm’s courses were only offered online, instead of in-person, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

His second year of university life has been much more enjoyable now that he has moved to Calgary for his studies.

“Being in person has helped me have a social life,” Helm said.

The teen is living in a rented apartment with his girlfriend, who is a student at Mount Royal University, also located in Calgary.

One thing, however, that is the same for Helm is that he’s a repeat recipient of the Indigenous Scholarship Program.

Cando’s charitable organization, the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund, and the CIBC joined forces to launch this program.

From 2019 through 2022, a total of $44,000 each year is available to Indigenous post-secondary students across Canada.

There are eight recipients of the scholarship each year and they are awarded funds ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

Helm was awarded $2,000 for the second consecutive year.

“I didn’t know it was renewable,” Helm said of the scholarship program.

He did, however, have to apply once again in order to be considered as a potential recipient a second time.

And once again, when he discovered he indeed was a repeat scholarship recipient, he welcomed the funds he received.

“Moving out helped me to look at expenses in a whole new light,” he said. “I have bills to pay now.”

Helm added the majority of post-secondary students would like to receive some scholarship funds to be put towards their education.

“It’s always nice,” he said. “There’s less to worry about when you have 5-6 courses each semester and are trying to cope.”

Helm added now that he does have additional expenses since he’s no longer living at home, he is seeking for a way to earn some additional money.

“I’m looking for a part-time job, just for supplemental income,” he said.

Though he’s not even halfway through the requirements needed to obtain his finance degree, Helm, who is now also minoring in math, has a future goal in mind as well.

“Right after I get my Bachelor’s degree, I think I’m going to get my MBA,” he said.

And then after that, he’d obviously be looking to put his degree to good use.

“I’m not opposed to moving internationally,” he said. “But I wouldn’t be opposed to staying in Calgary either.”