Paying it forward


Shauna Jones, RRU MALT Alumna

Alumna establishes Beth and Bill Vance Bursary in honour of couple who supported her education.

Shauna Jones was so moved by the generosity of her godmother and her godmother’s husband that she set up a bursary in their name.

In the late 1990s, Jones was entertaining the idea of doing her master’s degree, but knew she couldn’t afford it. Someone close to Jones shared her dreams of higher education with Beth and Bill Vance and they were moved to help her make attaining a master’s degree a reality.

“I couldn’t think of a better investment,” Jones recalls Beth saying, getting emotional at the memory. 

“We were more than happy to offer Shauna some financial assistance to get back to formal education, which would enhance not only her life, but many others in return as it turns out,” Beth says.

Indeed, many others have benefitted as a result of Jones completing her MA in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads. After graduating in 2002, she established the Beth and Bill Vance Bursary. The bursary is for a student who requires further education to develop his or her career and wouldn’t be able complete studies without significant financial assistance. It is to help people who are fully engaged and passionate about their life’s work.  

“Royal Roads opened the door to me,” says Jones, a coach, facilitator and consultant. “I found me. I got to connect with a part of myself that had always been in there, but I didn’t know it. I remember feeling euphoric. The education was delivered to us in such a meaningful way that really made a difference. It stretched me, as it stretched many of my colleagues, and it made me make some really serious life changes. I had such a transformative experience.”

Jones is pleased she can now help others enjoy a similar experience and says she’s inspired by the work of the bursary recipients.

Getting excited about the success and good work of others is an experience she shares with Beth and Bill. When she told the couple about the bursary she established in their name, they wanted to contribute, too.

“Not only had they helped me, they’ve helped other people, too. It just continues to expand the amount of love that I have for Beth and Bill,” Jones says.

For their part, Beth and Bill say they are pleased to be able to continue to support students who are making a difference in the world.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing that Shauna is doing and this comes straight from the heart,” Bill says. “She’s been the driver of this and we’ve been pleased to help. I just think it’s great to help young people who are trying to pull themselves up. It’s a tough world these days.”  

Adds Beth: “We are very honoured and heartened to be able to assist quality and dedicated young people who are furthering their education and becoming a responsible and caring citizen of the world.”