Why support students?

It was a letter I will never forget. Newly married and working hard to make ends meet, my husband was intent on finishing his postsecondary education but after addressing our other bills, it just wasn’t going to be possible. Receiving a letter that David had been awarded a bursary made all the difference and was, quite honestly, a game-changer. Years later, we were so delighted to ‘pay-it-forward’ and establish a bursary to help others. And what followed? More unforgettable letters, and this time from the student recipients who shared their stories and thanks.

Won’t you join me in changing a student’s educational path by enabling them to stay in school and to mitigate the stress of worrying about tuition, books, rent and food. Your support will make a measurable difference in reducing our students’ unprecedented levels of anxiety so their energies are directed to pursuing their academic goals.

A wonderful personal recollection of doing just that and if I may, let me invite you to consider doing the same. With my warmest thanks,

Lorna Somers
Executive Director
Mohawk College Foundation

Lorna Somers smiling

Choose a Gift

Each gift option has been carefully selected to help make a difference to Mohawk students who need your support. We’re committed to honouring your generosity and ensuring the gift you select gets to a student in need. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as an emergency, might the donation be used for a similar or more urgent need. The donation amounts are suggestions. Thank you for your generosity.

College supplies on a desk

College essentials

$150 | $200 | $250 | Other

Often programs require specific equipment, uniforms, tools, textbooks or technology to succeed. Equip students for success with tuition support and course essentials.

Greatest need

Student Support Fund

$50 | $75 | 100 | Other

45% of Mohawk College students say their greatest need is financial assistance.

Provide support for students experiencing an emergency or unexpected financial hardship. Your gift will help remove barriers for students to reach graduation.

Pile of necessities on a table

Life’s necessities

$75 | $100 | 150

Over the last year, the rental market has increased by 10.5%.

You can provide relief to keep a roof over a student’s head, and assist with utilities and life’s basic essentials.

Person holding a bowl of cereal

Nourish a student

$50 | $75 | $150

Research shows food-insecure households have poorer health and are more likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders.

With food inflation, students can use your gift now more than ever. Help alleviate food insecurity and nourish a student’s body and mind.

Children's art supplies on a table

Child care support

$90 | Other

33% of our students are the first in their families to earn a postsecondary education.

Child care costs are a challenge and hardship for many students. Help assist a parent pursuing education.

Pile of groceries in a brown paper bag on the table

Campus food support

$25 | Other

Stats Canada reports “one in five Canadians expect they are likely to obtain food or meals from a community organization in the next six months.”§

Help expand the reach of on-campus food initiatives to provide students with access to breakfast programs, food pantries and student holiday hampers.

Public Health Agency of Canada. “Evidence synthesis – What is known about the prevalence of household food insecurity in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review”.

The Globe and Mail. “Students are struggling to secure housing in Canada’s overheated rental market”.

§Statistics Canada. “Rising prices are affecting the ability to meet day-to-day expenses for most Canadians”.

Student Stories

Michelle Satake Machado smiling and wearing safety glasses

Michelle Satake Machado’s Story

For International student Michelle Satake Machado, receiving a bursary made her journey easier.

“As an international student, we are limited to how many hours we can work, it’s very hard to be able to pay for living, groceries, school. This funding helps a lot. I am able to focus more on studies and also do some volunteering, that is something I enjoy.”

– Michelle Satake Machado

Roger Halerimana’s Story

Originally from Democratic Republic of the Congo, Roger Halerimana moved to Canada in 2011 and is now a Canadian citizen. Thanks to an incredible donor, Roger was able to continue his academic journey at Mohawk College.

“You helped me lighten the heavy burden of tuition. Thanks to you I was able to focus on my learning. It positively changed my outlook and made me more determined to help others. I feel blessed every single day in this amazing country and I am proud of the opportunities that Mohawk College has offered me as one of its students.”

– Roger Halerimana

Roger Halerimana smiling

Tanya Noel gardening with a child

Tanya Noel’s Story

In 2020 Tanya became pregnant and found her way to the Homeward Bound Program through the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre in partnership with Mohawk College. The program supports Indigenous matriarchs in achieving their postsecondary education.

“I started out as the student who needed an incredible amount of support, and now I am positioned to provide that support to other students.”

– Tanya Noel

Natalie Gelms’s Story

As an athlete, Natalie Gelms chose Mohawk to have the balance of becoming a nurse while continuing her athletic journey.

“If I could talk to donors I would thank them, the funding has enabled me to devote more of my time on my studies and academic and extra-curricular activities. Their generosity and kindness inspired me and it is my hope that one day I may be able to do the same, donate and give back to the community that has helped me.”

– Natalie Gelms

Natalie Gelms smiling

45% of students indicate financial assistance as the #1 item where they require support


Age Range**

11% – 18 and under
36% – 19 to 21
38% – 22 to 29
15% – 30+


Age Range**

6% – 18 and under
37% – 19 to 21
46% – 22 to 29
11% – 30+

of our students come direct from high school**

of students are the first in their family to attend postsecondary*

of students are from the Hamilton area**

* 2019/20 Enrolment Data (Due to COVID travel restrictions, in 2020/21, the percentage of international students at Mohawk was 22%)

** Post-secondary Enrolment Data. Includes 2021-21 academic year FT & PT. Does not include CE or Apprenticeship students.

Student Entrance Survey & Post-secondary Enrolment Data. Includes 2020-21 academic year FT and PT students who completed the First Generation question on the Entrance Survey.