The family of a beloved community member from Délı̨nę, George Cleary, has organized a scholarship for Indigenous youth in his honour.
Now Indigenous youth and Sahtu beneficiaries can access this scholarship to pursue trades or post-secondary education.
“My family’s excited, it’s something we wanted to do for a long time,” says Doreen Cleary, George’s wife.
The scholarship is intended to support Indigenous youth and encourage them to go far in their career endeavours, she says.
“(George) was a strong believer in education,” she adds.
Doreen talks about the distinct obstacles many Indigenous youth face in the North – from a lack of resources to struggles with abuse and addiction – gets in the way of pursuing an education.
“He was always encouraging young people to do something with their lives,” said Doreen.
George, she said, serves as proof that, “there are good Indigenous people out there who can do the job just as well as anyone.”
Doreen says she’ll never forget his sense of humour, his lovable nature and his gentle soul.
“I’m just happy that we can give back,” she says. “Every little bit counts.”
George passed peacefully late last year after battling cancer.
The George Cleary Memorial Scholarship is a $1,000 annual initiative to serve youth in their pursuit to further education.
The Yellowknife Community Foundation (YCF) will be responsible for administering the funds.
Robin Greig is the president of the YCF.
“George Cleary was an inspired leader,” he says. “We hope that this new scholarship will encourage others to follow in his footsteps.”
Applications are due July 1.
Eligible residents can access the scholarship here.