Pictured from left to right are Winter Bailey of the Mine Training Society, Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director and vice president of the Diamond Empower Fund, and Wally Schumann, government official of the Greater Northwest Territories. The Mine Training Society and D.E.F. have partnered to award scholarships to five Northwest Territories students.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories—Diamond Empowerment Fund, the nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting young people in diamond mining communities, recently turned its efforts to Canada’s Northwest Territories for the first time.

In conjunction with the Mine Training Society, a group that facilitates mining career opportunities for Northwest Territories citizens, D.E.F. awarded five students in the region $5,000 scholarships to go toward trade education or post-secondary education in business management, STEM, healthcare or mental health programs.

Awardee Trisa Ngo of Yellowknife is completing her final year of her Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from Dalhousie University in Halifax and hopes to work in environmental resource management with a focus on resource development, contaminated sites remediation and climate change policy.

Lindsay Bodnar-McLeod of Inuvik is pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree at Aurora College in Fort Smith and plans to become a teacher.

Kyra Harris of Fort Good Hope, who is currently earning a Business Diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton and wants to found her own real estate business.

Sharwyn MacPherson of Forth Smith, an employee of Rio Tinto’s Diavik mine, is entering his final year of study to become an instrumentation technician.

Louise Speakman of Deline is completing her Bachelor of Social Work degree at MacEwan University with hopes to work in the criminal justice system.

As part of its Diamonds Do Good program, D.E.F. has led previous efforts in mining areas in Botswana, India, South Africa and Tanzania.

D.E.F. is currently holding its second annual “Real Diamonds/Real Impact” contest, in which consumers are asked to submit videos explaining their personal engagement ring proposal stories and what naturally mined diamonds mean to them.

The winning couple will receive an adventure-packed trip to the Northwest Territories replete with viewings of the Aurora lights, dog sledding and snowmobiling.
The trip will include a visit with the five scholarship recipients to witness the positive impact mining has on local communities, according to D.E.F.

More information is available on the organization’s website.

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