‘We are making history’: former Walmart associates offer pandemic advice to high school graduates

At Walmart Canada, we know a little help can go a long way. Our associates are our greatest strength, which is why we’re investing in their future with education grants for our graduating high school associates or dependents of Walmart associates.

With a second class of high school students graduating during a pandemic, we asked some of our recent scholarship recipients like Shaylon Godse, who worked our Erin Mills Town Centre store in Mississauga, Ont., about their scholarship and graduating in a pandemic.

“The Walmart Canada Associate Scholarship helped me immensely. It set me up for success in university as I used the money from the scholarship to pay for some of my books, tuition, and various membership fees for clubs at Wilfrid Laurier University.”

Shaylon said it isn’t an easy time for high school students, but there are reasons to be optimistic.

“Graduating in a pandemic has made me more resilient,” he explained. “Despite the adversity you are facing right now, it will get better and there have been a lot more opportunities created for university students as a result of the pandemic.”

The Walmart Canada Associate Scholarship Program awards $2,000 scholarships annually to help cover first-year expenses for associates who want to continue their education at an accredited Canadian college or university. In 2020, Walmart Canada awarded 73 scholarships to a diverse group of high school students across the country.

The 2021 recipients will be announced later this summer.

Molly Fortin said working at our Walmart store in Grand Falls, N.B., kept her busy during the pandemic and taught her leadership skills she’s using at St. Thomas University. After her own pandemic graduation, Molly shared advice for this year’s high school graduates.

“My experience for sure was not the same as past years,” she admitted. “Just take it a day at a time and don’t get overwhelmed.”

“We are making history. We are showing everyone we are stronger than many think,” Molly said.

Toronto’s Shubh Patel said his life changed for the better when he received a scholarship through his mother, a longtime Walmart Canada associate. The pandemic affected Shubh’s ability to work and the scholarship helped him cover his tuition expenses at Carleton University.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Shubh said. “It just feels good to pursue your dream thanks to Walmart.”

Since 1994, Walmart Canada has awarded more than 1,200 university and college scholarships, totalling $2.5 million, to full-time students from coast to coast to coast. We’re proud of the investments we’re making in Canada as we build towards a better future for all.