Patti Kleeb (Teacher)

In a perfect world, the unique, immersive experience that is Neuchâtel Junior College would be available to every young Canadian who could benefit from it. In reality, of course, our program is constrained by financial considerations.
The Bursary and Scholarship Program, An NJC Tradition Worth Upholding
Message from the Faculty
Nevertheless, every year we are delighted to welcome into the NJC family students who have needed a little assistance to help make their dreams a reality, whether that assistance comes in the form of a travel bursary to underwrite the cost of a Model United Nations delegate’s trip to St Petersburg, or a full McCall MacBain Foundation Scholarship designed to honour academic excellence. It’s a reality that whatever benefits our students benefits NJC, but in the case of scholarships, the students honour the investment that you make in their futures.
Let’s consider, for example, the case of a gifted public speaker who can’t afford the cost of participation in NESDA (New European Speech and Drama Association), of which NJC was a founding member. Without financial assistance, that student would lose his chance, not only to showcase his talents, and potentially win a medal, but also to meet and befriend students from across Europe and around the world, to bond with his NJC teammates, and to visit the European capital city where the competition is being hosted. A travel bursary enables this student to ‘step outside’ the familiar, into opportunities that would otherwise be closed to him - but, more than that, the personal growth he experiences by taking part in the competition is essential to NJC’s purpose. Our aim is to empower all our students to be the best they can be. When our students shine, we shine too.
The first-ever recipient of the Jeanneret Scholarship, Gabe Richards, feels that NJC has opened her eyes to the wider world beyond Canada. “I have benefitted from the exposure to all kinds of new cultures. I am now a much more aware person, and feel that I can relate to a much greater population, because of seeing different walks of life, such as that of people in Kenya, and even just living in Switzerland.”
A 2017/2018 bursary recipient* reflects on how the ups and downs of life at NJC have helped with newfound strength and wisdom. “Before coming to NJC, I had never been away from home for longer than five days, and in my eyes, THAT was a long time. I think that if I had never come to NJC, or if I had gone home after first semester, I never would have grown as much as I have this year. I can confidently say that this year was one of the most incredible things I’ve done and experienced. I’ve been through so much this year, some good and some less good, and collecting it all together in my brain I can let out a sigh and smile, because my experience at NJC has shaped me into someone who is more confident, sensible, and more at peace. I stuck it out through the hard times, patient for the good times to come, and in the end it was so worth it.”
An NJC scholarship broadens a young person’s world, not just for a year, but for a lifetime. ‘Step outside’ becomes their motto, as they move on to elite universities - Brogan Pastro ‘14, for example, went up to study Law at Oxford - or service to their country, like a bursary recipient, who was selected as a page in the Federal Parliament. The achievements of these alumni in turn inspire our incoming cohorts to strive to fulfil their dreams, and so the virtuous cycle is perpetuated.

An education is an investment in the future. Our scholarship and bursary students have repaid the investment with their talent, their energy, their personal and professional achievements, and their commitment to NJC.
Financial aid is a tradition worth upholding, because the rewards to the individual, the school, and the wider community are incalculable. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Patti Kleeb
History Teacher
* Due to the confidential nature of this award, we are obliged to withhold the name of some recipients.
A Canadian high school in Switzerland | Grade 12 & Gap