Sep 13, 2023

Ontario Credit Union Foundation: CU Succeed Youth Bursary Recipient Spotlight: Zachary


The Ontario Credit Union Foundation (OCUF) supports credit unions and co-operatives with their philanthropic giving in communities across Ontario. The Foundation is similar to private and local community foundations in that it administers funds created by donors for specific charitable purposes.

The CU Succeed Youth Bursary was established in 2016 by OCUF to provide financial support to students who demonstrate community leadership and require financial assistance. Applicants (or their parents) must be residents of Ontario and belong to a credit union. Over the past 8 years, OCUF has awarded $636,000 to 494 students. This year, one of those students is Zachary, a member of Kindred’s Waterloo branch. We wanted to get to know Zachary a little better.

Where will you be going to school and what will you be studying?

I am attending Heritage College and will be entering my final year completing my Bachelor of Theology: Pastoral Minor.

What made you choose that area of study? What are your career goals?

I choose this area of study because God has given me the desire to be involved in youth ministry. My church youth group was pivotal for me in my growth, especially in regard to deepening my faith. Experiencing how valuable that ministry is has given me a passion to be involved.

Why did you apply for the OCUF CU Succeed Youth Bursary?

I applied for the CU Succeed Bursary because it proved an opportunity to receive some much-needed financial support. It was exciting to see support given to aspiring students yearning to pour into their communities. It’s immensely humbling to be one of the fortunate recipients and I am incredibly grateful for the sponsors’ generosity.

How are you involved in your community? Tell us about how you help make your community a better place.

The primary way that I’m currently involved with my community is serving as a youth leader. As a youth leader, I teach, assist in providing outreach, and foster a supportive community with encouraging relationships.

What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

My longer-term goal is to enter ministry full-time with a focus on working with youth. I think it is very important to come alongside young people to encourage and support them and help them navigate the challenges they face. I hope to get a full-time position at a church or faith-based organization to serve the youth and to facilitate their personal development. A particular emphasis will be placed on serving and nurturing a strong community, along with promoting a life of outpouring and outreach. Even if I am not able to find a full-time job in this field, I expect to continue working with youth in a volunteer capacity, just as I have done for the past several years.

Tell us why and how you became a credit union member?

What I greatly appreciate about Kindred Credit Union is their values. I appreciate their commitment to quality service and honesty, their focus on community impact, along with their autonomy.

Jessica Sproat

Jessica Sproat

Community Engagement Manager Jessica is a corporate social responsibility enthusiast with a passion for collaborating with non-for-profit groups. She’s passionate about helping connect colleagues with opportunities to support their communities through volunteerism and sponsorships.