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Donor support helps Edwards student achieve her dreams

Through perseverance and support from donor funding, Ashanti Kay strives to make the world a better place for all.

Aiden Ryde

Ashanti Kay is a first-year student at the Edwards School of Business (Edwards). She is also the recipient of the Thompson Indigenous Student Award, an award open to Indigenous women pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Edwards School of Business. This award is valued at $10,000 per year and is generously supported by the Thompson family.   

They were inspired to donate after seeing the impact similar scholarships had on its recipients in previous years. 

“This award allows someone who could not otherwise get the chance at a degree from Edwards to succeed and make a difference in the future.” 

“The scholarship honestly meant a lot. I wasn’t given a lot growing up, it’s always been “for my siblings.” It served as an eye opener for me; that I can achieve my dreams and more. I admittedly don’t have that much confidence, but after living through what I have, I like to think that it takes a great deal of confidence to speak out about it,” Ashanti said. 

Kay is from Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nation and is the third eldest of 10 children.  

“I was made the “mom” of my family when I was only nine,” Kay shared. “This involved cooking meals, cleaning up after my siblings, and ensuring they stayed caught up in school, etc. It caused me to “grow” and mature faster than my peers.” 

Aside from the abnormal amount of responsibility from such a young age, Kay dealt with several other hardships in her adolescence. 

“I lived in a pretty strict household; I was unhappy for the entirety of high school. I was not allowed to express myself or go through this big “transformation” that everyone else my age had. I never knew anything else aside from having to serve. By the end of high school, I had had enough of the anger, the negativity, and the ugliness that emitted from my household. All the stress and pressure I faced on a daily basis took its toll on me and my family. A week after my last day of high school, I ran away. I decided to speak out about my family’s abuser, my “father.” Me, my siblings, and my mom are all much happier now and I would do it all again in a heartbeat if I had to.” 

Her aspirations to own her own business, along with the inviting and exciting environment at Edwards were only some of the contributing factors to her applying to the school. 

“I was attracted to how many opportunities Edwards students had. The amount of hard work required to make a dream reality is what inspired me. The university looked inviting and exciting.” 

The faculty and staff at Edwards do all they can to help their students and are constantly striving to be better resources. 

“I have to thank my academic advisor, Jocelyn Ormerod, for notifying me of the award; none of this would have been possible for me if it were not for her assistance in my application,” said Kay. 

In the future, Kay aspires to start her own businesses, first a business that sells beaded earrings and down the line, a café.  

“I also want to share my story with others. Specifically, those who are in the same situation I was in. I want to serve as a voice for those who can’t speak up about their abuse. I want to make the world a better place.” 

To learn more about how you can support students, please contact 

To learn more about how you can donate to benefit students, visit the Giving to USask site. 


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