Post-Secondary Student Scholarship

Björn and Virginia Björnson were committed to working hard and encouraging those around them to ‘do all the good you can, by all the means you can.’ Their children hope that this award will support others to reach for the best in themselves.

Post-Secondary Education Scholarship for students with Specific Learning Disabilities (reading-dyslexia, writing-dysgraphia and/or math-dyscalculia)

Application deadline June 1st – ANNUALLY

  • up to $1000 each year
  • with Specific Learning Disorder (reading, writing and/or math disability diagnosis) documentation
  • resume or video resume – showing great interest and commitment to achievement in school and/or extra curricular activities and/or leadership.
  • student needs to have shown determination, self-advocacy and success in overcoming challenges
  • student must be attending a Manitoba full-time postsecondary institution (university, community college, a vocational or technical training program) in the upcoming school year (PROOF of ADMISSION ACCEPTANCE REQUIRED from SCHOOL/INSTITUTION)
  • Student must have been in full time high school the previous year
  • at least 2 references

ALL applications are confidential.

If selected, the recipient agrees to share their successes (see below for examples) on social media to celebrate and inspire!

send application to: [email protected] or contact: 204 451 2112 for more information

2023 Scholarship Winner – Carter C.

I’m Carter Collignon a student of Nelson McIntyre and a graduate of the 2023 class. Through determination and perseverance, I turned my learning challenges of dyslexia into strengths. With the support of my teachers, family, and my wonderful tutor, I developed effective strategies to manage my dyslexia in the classroom. With my outstanding academic performance and exceptional grades, I gained admission to the University of Winnipeg education faculty.

2023 Scholarship Winner – Rebecca C.

I was diagnosed with a learning disability specific to reading at the end of grade one. I know I was lucky to be identified and receive lots of early support from wonderful teachers, resource teachers, and EAs. Although school was challenging, I worked hard to maintain my place on the honour roll and participated in student council and peer counsellors throughout high school. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my grandparents and volunteering with the community museum, senior centre, and local snowmobile club. I am looking forward to starting university in the fall as I work towards a science degree in geology and physics. I am very grateful to the Bjornson family and the Bjorn and Virginia Bjornson Memorial Scholarship for the honour of being a recipient of this year’s scholarship

2022 Scholarship Winner – McKenna Y.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was in early elementary but I never let that stop me from anything. I have maintained honour roll all throughout high school while working a part time job and playing basketball. I am extremely grateful to be aware this scholarship as I will be starting the next chapter of my life by attending The University of Winnipeg to participate in their development studies program.

2022 Scholarship Winner – Jazi M.

My Dyslexia affects my reading, writing and language skills. Although academics have been challenging for me, I have always shone at sports. I am a Multi-Sport Athlete and sports have given me the confidence and determination to prove that I could do well at whatever I set my mind to. It takes me much longer than the average student to finish assignments, but I have had amazing teachers and I work very hard in school. I have maintained Honour Roll every term since junior high, despite my Dyslexia. I am proud to be entering the University of Winnipeg’s Kinesiology program in September with the goal of becoming an Athletic Therapist. I am extremely honoured and grateful to the Bjornson family to be a recipient of The Bjorn and Virginia Bjornson Memorial Scholarship, which will help me in my next steps toward fulfilling my dreams. Thank you!

2022 Scholarship Winner – Morgan L.

I am a seventeen-year-old Graduate of West Kildonan Collegiate in Winnipeg, MB. From my early years in elementary, it was apparent that I was struggling with certain aspects of school. I was eventually diagnosed with three learning disabilities, including Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and a Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in written expression. With the help and support of my family and my fantastic resource teachers in my High school years, I began to strive to be the best I could be academically, and I am very proud to say that I believe I have achieved that goal. Because of my continued support, perseverance, and work ethic, I can follow my dream and attend post-secondary. I have been accepted into the Canadian Mennonite University’s Bachelor of Business Administration Program with the goal to open a learning center that can provide support to other students like me.

2021 Scholarship Winner – Ethan I.

School has always been a struggle for me, that made me feel bad about myself. By the end of grade 8 I was diagnosed with severe mixed dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and moderate ADHD combined type. Once I learned why I wasn’t doing well in class it helped me in so many ways.

Entering high school was a major adjustment. I left a French immersion program for a smaller English based school, Westwood Collegiate. The school adopted support strategies to help me be successful and I learned a lot about self-advocating. I have greatly improved my marks year to year, by learning to adapt to every challenge.

Basketball has been a huge motivating factor. I have always had to do well in school to earn the right to play, and if it wasn’t for basketball, I may not be graduating from high school. Being the team’s Point Guard has taught me leadership. Being passionate about basketball has given me drive, ambition, and confidence in myself. I have achieved numerous awards and honours for my basketball successes.

Having mixed dyslexia means I have to work twice as hard as others and never quit. All dyslexics have different strengths, mine are perseverance, drive and a strong work ethic developed in the classroom. Complimented by commitment, mentorship and leadership; strengths developed on the basketball court. I don’t think I would have one without the other. My disability doesn’t define me but has made me who I am today and I wouldn’t want to change that.

I am following a dream to continue with college level basketball. This path has led me to apply to CMU to explore the career of psychology, where I can help people who may encounter the same difficulties I have had.

Although Learning has been the hardest obstacle in my life, it has taught me that with determination and a strong work ethic I can be successful in anything I do.

2020 Honorary Scholarship Winner – Austyn E,

Hi my name is Austyn. I am an 18 year old graduate of Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in The Pas, Manitoba. My learning disabilities became quite apparent in my early elementary years. Unfortunately, due to a lack of available resources living in a northern community, my parents and I struggled to get professional help and assessments so that we could figure out the extent of my disabilities. Due to the resilience of a couple of resource and guidance counselors in my grade 10 year, we were finally able to access the resources we needed. I am happy to say that finally in my grade 12 year I had the ability to work with some wonderful professionals and access the tools I needed to further my education in post-secondary.

I am happy to say that I have been accepted into the University College of the North in the fall to pursue my dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher. I hope my story will help others with disabilities to strive for their dreams and work through their difficulties as hard work and dedication always pays off. Be brave, be resilient and never give up.

Thanks for the opportunity.

2020-2018 (3 year) Scholarship Award – Grace C.

Congratulations to Grace C. We are so excited to be able to support her journey!

From Grace:

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story of my first year of University.  So far it has been a story of hope for all high school students who struggle with dyslexia.

After struggling through both math and language arts in high school, I was somewhat worried how University would be.  Although I am a student in Fine Arts, there are still reading, writing, and math requirements for me to get my degree.

Firstly, much of the “test pressure” of high school disappeared.  Being in a University environment allowed me to work at my own pace, and earn as many marks as possible before exam time.  I also found my professors to be flexible and understanding, and the University gave me the needed extra time accommodations fo exams.

Secondly, as my love is visual arts, studying Fine Arts has allowed me to finally have an education that focuses on my strengths.  I enjoy going to school each day, and look forward to doing something that I am good at every day.  

When attending high school, dyslexia often caused me to feel bad about myself and my abilities.  In university, I no longer feel this way – I now no longer feel this way, and take pride in my abilities in my chosen field of study.

A 2018 graduate of Morris Collegiate in Morris, Manitoba, Grace was diagnosed in 2013 with a number of reading and language disabilities, including dyslexia. Despite the challenges this posed to her completing the English and Math portions of her high school career, she managed to graduate on time with an 83% GPA, and received direct entry to the University of Manitoba’s School of Fine Arts.

She hopes to both pursue a career as a visual artist and art teacher, and one day teach children with similar learning disabilities. Grace co-owns her own Art and Dance studio in Morris, and enjoys writing, drawing, and sculpting in her spare time. In the past, Grace has been a show dog Junior Handler, played soccer, figure skated, and done jazz, tap, and ballet dancing.

2019 Honorary Scholarship – Selina S.

I am the youngest of five kids, and three of my siblings have dyslexia. My parents recognized my difficulties early on, and when I first went to kindergarten, I had a psych assessment, confirming my dyslexia diagnosis, in hand. The school requested another psych assessment in grade 2 because of the severity of my learning difficulties. At the time, the psychologist told my parents that I would never be academic. Mrs. Christine Van de vijsel, a reading clinician, wondered if I might have auditory processing disorder. The Audiologist confirmed her suspicion. I also discovered that I had vision issues including tracking and eye teaming difficulties.

I had an EA part time in elementary school. I was homeschooled in grade 6, and I attended St Mary’s Academy from grades 7-12. At the end of grade 11, I had another psych assessment completed, and I learned that I also had a math disability related to low working memory. I have taken physics, biology, chemistry and pre-cal math in high school. I have taken courses year-round, and I will graduate with 32.5 credits. School is tough, but I work very hard to be successful. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Manitoba, and I hope to one day be a school psychologist.

2018 Honorary Scholarship –  James U. 

From early on, reading and spelling were extremely challenging. I was diagnosed with dyslexia at the end of grade 2. That was the beginning of my understating of what dyslexia is. My parents researched the best ways to help me. Once I had an official diagnosis, my teachers became extra helpful in making accommodations for me.

By the time I got to junior high, I was learning to self-advocate. I was encouraged to be open to teachers and others about dyslexia and its’ challenges. In Senior High our school used iPads and that helped a lot for spell check and writing papers.

I excelled in athletics and was involved in every school sport, as well as playing club volleyball and most recently coaching club volleyball. I was chosen by Volleyball Manitoba as a Graduating All-Star this year.

I’ve had to study and work much harder than most of my peers but I have developed a good work ethic. I graduated from High School this year (Calvin Christian School) with honours. I received 5 scholarships as well as Athlete of the Year! This is after many years of hard work and academic challenges. I believe these challenges have made me a better, hard working and more compassionate person.

I am planning on going to University of Winnipeg in the fall to study business. I appreciate that they are very open with accommodations I will need for success.

I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Björnson Scholarship. Having a learning disability like dyslexia is difficult, but the challenges of overcoming the problems have helped develop my character and I will continue to strive to help others in any challenges they face as well.

2018 Honorary Scholarship – Lyle M.

Hi, my name is Lyle M. and I graduated from Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in The Pas, Manitoba in 2017. I graduated from high school with honours and my Level 1 Automotive Technician credential. Now I am going to study Industrial Mechanics at MITT this fall.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD in Grade 5. I struggled in the grades before that but this was when I knew my struggles had a name. Learning for me is never a problem but school can be. Dyslexia and ADHD make school a game of printed words on the page that everyone else knows the rules but I have to find other ways to figure out. I think it is worth it.