Charmaine Letourneau Scholarships

An educator and Deaf advocate, Charmaine Letourneau received the Order of Canada in 2001 in recognition of her work in improving the quality of life for Deaf people.

The Charmaine Letourneau Fund was established to support post-secondary education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Albertans. Ongoing donations from many individual contributors and community organizations continue to support the fund and honour a community leader.

The Charmaine Letourneau Scholarship is awarded each year to a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person who will attend an academic or training program at a qualified institution. Priority is given to individuals who demonstrate involvement in Deaf and Hard of Hearing organizations, school or community leadership, commitment to and diligence in studies, and likelihood the program of study will lead to employment or further educational opportunities.

Each year typically 2 students receive awards ranging from $2,000 to $7,000. The size and number of awards may vary.

Critical Dates for the application

  • Application Opens: June 30.
  • Application Deadline: September 30 at 11:59 PM.
  • Award decisions released: approximately Mid-October.

Charmaine Letourneau Scholarships Eligibility Criteria

  • Be Deaf or Hard of Hearing (the extent of hearing loss must be significant).
  • Be a permanent resident or citizen of Canada.
  • Be a resident of Alberta.
  • Be pursuing an academic or training program at a qualified post-secondary or vocational school in Alberta. Alternatively the educational institution could be outside Alberta if it specializes in programming for Deaf or Hard of Hearing students (more detail below).
  • Demonstrated knowledge (whether basic or fluent) of sign language.
  • Demonstrate financial need.

Consideration and priority will be given to:

  • Involvement in local Deaf organizations and a demonstrated commitment and involvement as a volunteer.
  • Leadership within school or community.
  • Diligence and effort in studies.
  • Regular attendance and punctuality in school or in the workplace.
  • Likelihood the program of study will lead to employment or further educational opportunities.
  • Commitment to the qualifying program and the proposed field of study or employment.
  • Personal and reference letters should highlight the above criteria and priorities.

What schools and programs are eligible?

Awards can be used at any public university, college, technical institute, or community consortium in Alberta, as well as at private colleges accredited to grant degrees or private vocational schools which are recognized by the Province of Alberta. Awards may be provided to students attending school outside Alberta when a program is not available within Alberta. Awards may also be provided for studies at educational institutions outside Alberta which specialize in programming for Deaf or Hard of Hearing students, such as:

  • Gallaudet University (Washington, DC)
  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf (Rochester, NY)
  • California State University at Northridge (Northridge, CA)

An applicant’s program of study must lead to a recognized degree (undergraduate, graduate, professional or applied), diploma, certificate or license. Academic upgrading, bridging, or college preparation programs may be eligible. Students must indicate how completion of study will help them gain admission to a post-secondary program or lead to future gainful employment.

Required Documents to apply

  • Two reference letters: from people who have known the applicant for at least six months, and be able to comment on how the applicant meets the criteria
  • A personal letter describing how the applicant feels they meet the award criteria and priorities.
  • An audiogram or other medical documentation of hearing loss
  • A statement of grades from your most recent studies: Don’t worry, high grades are not part of the criteria. We just want to see that you have potential to be successful in your planned studies. Official transcripts are not required. A PDF or scan from a school website is acceptable. For high school grades, you can get unofficial grades from

What is the application process and how will the awards be paid?

The Awards Panel will review applications and select award recipients by the end of October of each year. Applicants may be invited to participate in an interview (in person or by Skype or Facetime). The interview will be conducted in ASL or we can arrange for an interpreter if the applicant’s knowledge of ASL is more rudimentary. Candidates will be advised of the status of their application by email in early November of each year. Edmonton Community Foundation will notify accepting post-secondary institutions of any Charmaine Letourneau Scholarship recipients once all award conditions have been fulfilled. Applicants may re-apply in subsequent years, but each application is for a single school year only.

Awards are intended to assist recipients with mandatory costs such as tuition and fees. In general, awards will be paid directly to the institution upon receipt of invoice. Awards to institutions will not be confirmed until all conditions are met.

It is the responsibility of the recipient to adhere to all regulations of the accepting post-secondary institution regarding all fee payments and to ensure that registration and/or enrolment status is not jeopardized. In particular, fee deadlines may impact students prior to sponsorship confirmation. Students are also responsible for all expenses not covered by the award, in accordance with institution payment deadlines. No part of any award issued by the Edmonton Community Foundation can be applied to amounts owing from previous years.

Apply for a Charmaine Letourneau Scholarship here

Need help with your application?

We want to make sure that you have the best chance to be successful with your application. Contact Anna Opryshko (Student Awards Associate) for support with your application and answers to your questions.

Phone: 780-426-0015 ext. 107