The Saskatoon office of MLT Aikins will celebrate its 40th anniversary this July. To commemorate this milestone, the Saskatoon partners wanted to give back to the local community through a “40 and 40 gift” recognizing the Saskatoon office’s 40 years.
The MLT Aikins Saskatoon office is proud to donate gifts of $40,000 each to both the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Foundation and the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation to help students gain access to computers for online learning.
With the greater emphasis for online learning due to the pandemic, the firm’s Saskatoon partners identified a need among students who have challenges accessing technology. While many families could quickly adapt to virtual learning, not all students had access to a computer. The Saskatoon office set out to raise a total of $80,000 for the Saskatoon school foundations for the purchase of more than 200 tablets (more than 100 per foundation) to be loaned to students in greatest need.
Erin Bokshowan, a partner in the Saskatoon office, describes the reasoning behind the gift: “MLT Aikins’s mission statement speaks clearly to our commitment to community, and these gifts put words into action. Our partners firmly believe that students are our future; these gifts are intended to enrich the learning experience of students and to support our community generally.
“Many of our partners come from family circumstances where resources were limited. We understand the issues that families are facing in providing the tools necessary to educate their children. These gifts will bring some assistance to families trying to support their children’s education.”
Francois Rivard, Superintendent of Learning at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools said, “We’re very appreciative of the generous support of the MLT Aikins Saskatoon partners. Use of technology and online learning has been growing for years, and it has proven to be a real benefit for a lot of families during the pandemic. At the same time, it has presented obstacles for other families who don’t have the same access. This gift will help remove some of those obstacles.”
The firm’s belief in how access to technology can change the course of a student’s life is bolstered by the personal experience of Kevin Wilson, Saskatoon partner.
As Kevin recounts, “About 15 years ago, a client, who is also a good friend, mentioned to me that his nephew was very bright and had lots of potential, but his family couldn’t afford to provide him with a computer for school. My friend sought permission to buy his nephew a top-of-the-line computer. At that point, the nephew was exploring the possibility of becoming a lawyer one day, so we took him for lunch and gave him a small gift to help him along.
“Fast forward to today: this remarkable individual has three university degrees including a PhD from an Ivy League university where he is now a professor. I think he would probably be the first to agree that, without that computer, none of this would have been possible.”
Zeba Ahmed, Executive Director of the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation said, “The Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation is grateful to the Saskatoon partners of MLT Aikins for their generous donation to support our students through these challenging times. Technology is critical for students to remain connected to their teacher, learning and school family. A gift like this can make THE difference for a student in their future learning opportunities.”