Inspiring Success: NIEEF CIBC - Remmy Dillon

Scholarship was perfect timing for Indigenous student

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor


Remmy DillonFor Remmy Dillon the fact she won a scholarship couldn’t have come at a better time.

Dillon, 21, is a second-year student in the environmental resources program at the Nicola Valley

Institute of Technology, located in Merritt, B.C.

Like the majority of other post-secondary students across the country, Dillon, a member of the Cayoose Creek First Nation in B.C., has been forced to take her classes online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remmy Dillon, a member of the Cayoose Creek First Nation in B.C.

Dillon, however, was having her share of frustrations this past fall, primarily because she had an older computer.

“Word wasn’t updating,” she said. “And (Microsoft) Excel wasn’t updating. And it kept crashing on me. It was coming to a boiling point. I couldn’t do many of my assignments.”

In late November, however, Dillon was notified she would be receiving $5,000 through the Indigenous Scholarship Program.

This program is delivered by Indspire, the charitable organization which raises funds and delivers various programs for Indigenous people across Canada.

Funding for the Indigenous Scholarship Program, which totaled $44,000 this year, was available through a partnership between the CIBC and Cando’s charitable organization called the National Indigenous Economic Education Fund.

Dillon was one of eight scholarship recipients through the program.

With the money she received Dillon was able to purchase a new computer as well as a new printer, which includes a scanner.

“Now I’m able to do schooling at home,” said Dillon, who lives in her First Nation’s community of Lillooet. “It’s making things a whole new world for me.”

Dillon, however, would prefer if she was taking her post-secondary classes in person. That’s because she’s not a big fan of virtual learning.

“It’s been a lot harder,” she said. “It’s hard to stay focused.”

Dillon is expected to graduate this April with a diploma from her program. But she’s already making plans to continue her education.

She has applied to Thompson River University (TRU), where she is keen to continue her environmental resources studies.

If she is accepted into TRU, she would study at its campus located in Williams Lake, B.C.

After graduating from her current program, Dillon would still need two years of university education in order to earn a degree.

If Dillon is indeed accepted by TRU, it wouldn’t be the first time she has attended the school.

Before beginning her studies at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, she had completed one year of the human resources program at TRU.

But she was not interested in continuing in that field of study.

“I want to work outside, with nature and animals,” she said. “That’s what I realized.”

At this point, Dillon added she is not entirely sure the exact career path she wishes to pursue.

But she’s excited by the fact her current program is providing her with some flexibility to make her decision down the line.

“I want to keep things open right now,” she said, adding she would be interested in a job working in fisheries or plants or possibly biology or wildlife biology fields.