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Local insurance agent helps area school through its foundation

Local insurance agent helps area school through its foundation

Thanks to the Desjardins Foundation, the Public Alternative Secondary School (PASS) will have an additional tool to teach students about the farm-to-table process.

The PASS school, located in the federal building at 66 Richmond St., received a $1,564 cheque from the Desjardins Foundation. The funds were presented last week at agent Tim Matlock’s office in Amherstburg.

“We applied for a grant to purchase a grow tower,” explained PASS teacher Shauna Johns.

The concept, she said, is to build the tower, complete with lights, and allow students to grow their own vegetables. The students can learn about the entire process from planting seeds to harvesting their produce.

“Students can enjoy produce year-round and grow it in the classroom,” said Johns. “They can see the work that goes into the food they eat. They will learn the care and preparation that goes into it.”

The Desjardins Foundations Prizes are awarded to projects headed up by community and schools to benefit all ages, from kindergarten right up through high school. The foundation grants financial assistance to projects with the greatest potential to motivate young people.

“When kids love school, they have better grades, greater perseverance and an improved well-being. That’s why we created the Desjardins Foundation Prizes,” said Nancy Lee, executive director of the Desjardins Foundation. “The initiatives and projects we support can keep students motivated and have a positive impact on their education. We give teachers and youth workers the opportunity to meet kids where they are and make a real difference. It’s empowering.”

Rich Reid, principal of the PASS school, was happy to receive the donation and said they are grateful for the support. He believed it was a great example of the community helping to build partnerships with the school.

Matlock said there were over 3,000 entries and 600 prizes awarded nationally. He was pleased to see an application be granted in Amherstburg.

“The community is stronger when we give back,” said Matlock.

It is the second time in less than a year where the local Desjardins office helped with a grant in Amherstburg. Gumballs & Overalls was one of 150 recipients of a Desjardins “GoodSpark” grant, with the insurance firm awarding a total of $3 million under that program. The “GoodSpark” grant was awarded last April and assisted the business in increasing her online presence and allowing for the ability for people to shop online. The store was able to hire an additional staff member to help shoppers online.

The Desjardins Foundation Prizes sees the next application period start in October. For more information, visit

By Ron Giofu

Local insurance agent helps school

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