In late 2016, with a generous funding donation, Maureen and Gary McDermid established the Choice Endowment Fund. The fund is administered and managed at arms length from Choice School by the Vancouver Foundation.
As many will know, Maureen sat on the Choice Board of Directors and has long been a tireless supporter of the School. Gary provides volunteer support to the school and is always available to lend a hand no matter what kind of help is required.
The goal of this endowment fund is to provide bursaries to families who need the support of the program at Choice School, but cannot meet the tuition costs, even with assistance through the Tuition Assistance Program.
We hope you will consider helping grow this fund to its full potential by making a donation at the following link:
Maureen and Gary’s personal message follows explaining the background and reasons behind their gesture to establish this fund:
We believe, as many families do, that education is one of the most important and effective advantages we can give our children. That’s the way our parents brought us up and we are determined to ‘pay it forward’. Gary and I have enjoyed the many advantages of a very good education in our lifetime – personal satisfaction with our professions in business and education, financial success and the joys of raising two accomplished sons.
Raising our family, as with most families, was not without its challenges. While very young, our children were identified as ‘gifted’ although we prefer to refer to them and others like them as possessing high potential. Throughout their school experiences, we found ourselves searching for information about learners who were like them, and finding ways to assist the school system to understand their unique traits and educational needs. Our sons and daughters-in law added five more high potential individuals to our family and the cycle repeats. Our family’s journey resulted in a determination to contribute back by supporting the many fabulous educators who worked with us and continue to work with our grandchildren, and to share our experiences in parenting and advocacy with other families of gifted children.
Over the past few years, we lost our own parents and we recognize their legacy – promoting education that supports students, all students, and especially those with high potential. We decided to use resources they left our generation in a special way. Our parents’ and our focus on the value of learning that enables and elevates children with high potential has moved us to establish an endowment fund via the Vancouver Foundation, to support a unique school operating in Richmond, BC.
Choice School is an Independent School with partial financial support from the Ministry of Education and has recently been designated by the Ministry of Education as a Special Education School. It is one of 15 independent schools in BC with such a designation in recognition of the expertise and support they bring to unique learners. It is the only school that enrols only gifted learners with a specifically designed learning environment to support high potential and provide opportunities to work and learn with like-minded children. Independent schools, unlike public schools, must charge student fees to operate. For many families, Choice School is not a ‘choice’ but a necessity given their child’s profile. They often go to extraordinary lengths to find the finances needed to enrol their children, making significant sacrifices.
The purpose of our Endowment Fund is to create bursaries to offset the financial hardship the families endure to enrol their children. We believe the effects of the funds from this endeavour will not only benefit the families whose children need this school now, but also grow awareness of these learners in general education through the example the school provides for all educators and families.
We are relying on the generosity of others like you and your family and friends to help grow this fund to its full potential.
Maureen and Gary McDermid