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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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Free Tuition?! Meet the Student Who Won Big at the COCA Kick-Off Concert

Written by Samantha Moss
student tuition winner interview

What does it mean to win a full year’s tuition? We asked winner Achalla Olami to find out.

While most Canadians experienced a financial plot-twist caused by COVID-19, students, in particular, are finding it increasingly difficult to adapt. In fact, it was hard enough for young people to find summer employment at the best of times, let alone in the midst of a global lockdown. UGH.

Basically, last spring’s setback has left many students wondering how they’re going to pay for their fall tuitionand leaving Canadian students in financial limbo has never been our vibe.

So, we teamed up with CIBC and COCA to launch a Virtual Kick-Off Concert where one lucky student would win a full year’s tuition.

Student unions from across the country planned the event for 26 campuses with 50,000 students, so they could tune in and enjoy performances from artists like The Reklaws, Tyson Ritter of The All-American Rejects, A Tribe Called Red, Roy Woods, Pink Sweat$, and Lennon Stella.

Students entered the ‘Win My Tuition’ giveaway prior to and during the kick-off concert, to be in the running to win one year of free tuition thanks to the support from our lead partner, CIBC. At the end of the night, our wonderful host, Nina West, announced the lucky winner…

Achalla Olami from Fleming College!

Here’s what Achalla had to say about the experience:

Q: Who are you?

A: Achalla Olami, Fleming College, Practical Nursing, 2021. I chose nursing because I wanted to be in a field where I get to help people every day. There have been times in my life where nurses and healthcare professionals have made a difference in my life. I’d like to be able to be a part of a system that brings healing and thrives on seeing people get better.

Q: What do you hope to do after you graduate?

A: After I graduate I hope to start working at a hospital in the area. I’ve been thinking about what floor I’d want to work on, but haven’t decided yet what I’d like my specialty to be. Nursing is my passion and I’m sure wherever I end up will be a great fit. We will be starting placement soon so I’ll be able to really see what it’ll be like first hand.

Q: How did you watch the Virtual Campus Kick off Concert?

A: My roommates aren’t quite moved back in yet and I’m still trying to social distance so it was just me at home! In a situation like this, it’s nice organizations do what they can to keep our spirits up. I appreciate Student life Network, the colleges, and CIBC for what they’ve done and continue to do for us students.

Q: Were there any artists you were looking forward to seeing?

A: I was definitely looking forward to seeing A Tribe Called Red. I’m from Ottawa as well and seeing them grow over the years has been wonderful. I’ve been lucky enough to consistently be taught some indigenous cultures and teachings throughout my schooling. I have a deeper understanding and appreciation for Indigenous cultures because of the early exposure.

Q: How did you learn about the tuition giveaway?

A: I learned about the Win My Tuition give away through emails my school sends us about events. They are very helpful emails that inform us of the activities going on in our campus or that have been set up for college students.

Q: How will winning your tuition this year from CIBC help you?

A: Winning my tuition from CIBC this year will help a great deal. It’ll help me be able to focus on my studies more. I’ll be given the time to absorb and be prepared for the world of nursing. Student loans on new graduates put a strain on their transition, but CIBC has ensured that my transition from being a new graduate to a working nurse will be a lot smoother than what it would have been.

I’d like to say thank you so much to CIBC, Student Life Network, Fleming SAC, and all organizers for making this possible. Thank you for working endlessly to bring us, students, these opportunities, and for making our school experience better.

Congrats on winning tuition, Achalla!

Student Life Network

You could be our next winner

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.