Newly launched First West Indigenous scholarship program helps pave the way for first-generation UVic student

VICTORIA, B.C- Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union, recently launched a scholarship and bursary program aimed at supporting Indigenous students with their post-secondary studies. Thus far, the program has awarded $22,000 to 10 students, including two $3,000 scholarships to University of Victoria (UVic) Students.

Madison Downey, a second-year business student at UVic was selected as one of the scholarship recipients this year.

“As someone who is a first-generation student who is self-funding their studies, finances are fairly difficult and the opportunity to have some of that burden alleviated is incredibly appreciated,” says Madison.

Madison hopes that her education will contribute to her ultimate goal of making fine arts and theatre more accessible to youth and low-income individuals. As part of the program, Madison will also be paired with a mentor at Island Savings to help navigate her educational pursuits and provide valuable insight into the business world.

“We want to set these students up for success and although monetary support is a crucial component to that success, it isn’t the only one,” says Kendall Gross, President at Island Savings. “As we build out the program further, we want to walk alongside these students to provide mentorship, educational, and possibly even employment opportunities to help kick-start their careers.”

For more information on how to apply, visit the UVIc student awards centre:

Company Information

About Island Savings

Island Savings is a premier provider of banking and investment services for residents and businesses throughout Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union with 46 branches throughout the province, Island Savings brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Island Savings, visit

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