Just as we became aware of COVID-19 last March, COBSS was preparing for allocation 2020. The seriousness of the virus took us by surprise, and like the rest of Canada we had to pivot quickly to keep things on track for students and donors alike. Here is a look at how COVID has affected everything about COBSS.
Award Allocation - While this three week period is the highlight for donors and volunteers, it was clear allocation could not proceed in person, as we have done for 49 years! After much discussion, a small committee from the Executive volunteered to allocate all 567 awards online. From home offices and dining room tables around the Okanagan, volunteers closely reviewed the donors' criteria and analyzed each application. We started March 23rd and finished April 10th!
Our Students - While "virtual learning" and living at home was not the post-secondary education experience any student envisioned, our local graduates showed us what they are made of. Of the 567 awards allocated, 51 students chose to defer until fall 2021 and five surrendered their awards to alternates.
Our Donors - Our generous donors continued to do their best to support the post-secondary education of the youth of the Central Okanagan. While a small number of donors had to put their awards on hold, most found a way to fund their award(s). A few donors even established new awards during this difficult time! The tenacity of our community continues to surprise us, and we and look forward to being back to "normal" as soon as possible.
Our School Counsellors - Our frontline workers continue to support students as they prepare their 2021 COBSS application packages and coordinate all this information with COBSS. It is a tremendous task at the best of times.
Our Volunteers - Our valued volunteers miss the camaraderie of the group at our monthly meetings and allocation. For now, we stay strong and have become proficient at the use of online meeting platforms. The COBSS volunteers were disappointed to have to cancel 2020 Spring Tea, our Fall Wine & Cheese Mingler and the Spring 2021 Tea.
With the continued support of the community we are staying focused on the graduating student body. And fear not, we will return to our new normal as soon as possible! If you are not currently a COBSS donor, we encourage you to keep us in mind for the day when you are in a position to invest in a local student. Thank you again for your support.
COBSS Past President