Alumni Spotlight

Posted: November 1, 2016

Briercrest alumnus and CHS grad, Joel Sims, is likely the youngest person to establish a financial award for incoming students to Briercrest. The 24-year-old recently started and will fund a bursary in honour of his grandfather, Harvey Sims.

“My grandfather was a huge part of my life and passed away in October of 2015,” Sims said. “He died at the age of 92 and was a strong Christian and person of prayer. He sincerely loved God's Word and tried to pass that on to all of his grandchildren.”

“I wanted to do something to honor his memory and give him a legacy that lived on and that would impact someone in a practical sense,” Sims continued. “My grandfather wrote down every cent he ever spent in little books his whole life, so starting a monetary memorial to him made sense.”

The financial challenges Sims experienced as a student prompted him to help other students in a similar situation.

“When I was going to school my family was financially challenged and I applied for many scholarships but never received any. I loved my time at CHS and my one year at Briercrest.  However, if I had been able to access some more money without student loans I may have been able to go another year,” Sims said.

Sims also struggled with some health issues while studying at Briercrest and he hopes the bursary will be an encouragement to someone who is going through similar struggles as he did.

“I tend to be a bit on the reserved side until I feel comfortable, so people often didn't understand how tough things were for me or that I also struggled with a serious health condition for the last several years, which often tapped a lot of my strength,” Sims said. “I want to be an encouragement to someone who may really desire to be here, someone who has persevered through things without a lot of recognition, and the bursary would be a way of saying that God is with them and hears their need.”

Sims hopes this encourages and motivates other young adults to think about doing something similar.

“I was told that I am probably the youngest person to start a bursary for Briercrest, and I would like to challenge others in my age group to do the same! I want to make a difference in the Kingdom as well as in the life of an individual,” Sims said.

The Harvey Sims Memorial Bursary is available to a student who demonstrates financial need with preference given to a current or past team member of Refined/Undignified (R/U) and who has experienced above average challenges in life.