Desjardins gives thousands to students on the West Island


by Rhonda Massad

In alignment with their values to continue to support youth and their education in our community, Desjardins doled out close to $15,000 in bursaries last October, 21 at a cocktail reception held at Table 09 in Pointe Claire.

Suekleane Bajaj, studying kinesiology, Mark-Damyan Edwards, studying child psychology, Stéphanie Guay, studying biomedical science and Kharoll-Ann Souffrant, studying social work were recipients of bursaries to be applied to their graduate or post-graduate studies.

On hand as one of the presenters was a member of the West End of Montreal Regional Council, Marc Navert who spoke with heart about the process of having to choose from more than 300 noble candidates in his region.

“The applications take place in our branches,” Navert explained, “we accept more than 4,000 applications across Quebec. The West Island region received 320 applicants. We then narrow it down very carefully through a screening process to 40. We not only look at the academic standing of the applicant but also their contribution to the community. At Desjardins, we believe in uniting the community and want to give back and want our future members to do so as well.”

Pierrefonds resident Kharoll-Ann Souffrant is in her 3rd year of her bachelor’s of social work at McGill University. According to Souffrant, the bursary motivates her to attain her goals.

“I come from a low-income family,” she explained. “I am very motivated to study, and I want to learn. This encourages me to keep going. I would like to be a social advocate for marginalized communities and hope to teach one day.”

Dollard des Ormeaux born, Mark-Damyan Edwards is also at McGill University at the doctorate level. Desjardins donated $10,000 to his research in child psychology.

“Regarding research and distribution of materials this will allow me more resources than I expected,” he explained. “Half of our program is clinical and half research. We will be going into high schools to improve leadership abilities and see if it extends to their academic performance.”

In 2015 312 caisses, or 93% of the network participated in a fundraising campaign that yielded more than $1.1 million to support the Desjardins Foundation. Desjardins makes education a catalyst for sustainable prosperity by supporting students through every stage of their education until graduation (from primary to adult education).



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