Investing in students

For Douglas College Foundation Board Chair Nick Cheng, education is at the heart of his career.

As a Financial Advisor and Manager of Edward Jones’ New Westminster branch, where he’s worked since 2002, education is a critical component of helping his clients make informed decisions about their personal and business finances.

“There are some people who don’t know how to incorporate financial planning into their lives,” explains Nick. “Part of my job is to counsel and empower people to know more about their finances and be strategic.” 

Education has also played an important role in his own life. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Beijing’s Peking University and his PhD from Cornell University. But it was his deep commitment to his community where he lives and works that ultimately inspired him to serve on the Douglas College Foundation Board, among multiple other non-profit boards in New Westminster.

“When you invest in your local community, you can see the impact. You can see how it helps a person who lives right around the corner. And it makes a big difference to every single other person in the community as well,” says Nick. “You never know, a person you supported at one point in time may just happen to come and work or live next to you in the future. Seeing the community impact of the many organizations I work with has been a true honour.”

Nick’s vast expertise in financial planning and deep commitment to community is an asset to the Douglas College Foundation Board of Directors, where he’s served in a variety of different roles since 2008. The same year he joined the Foundation Board, Nick and his family also established the N. Nick Cheng Bursary to support students in any program or Faculty with unmet financial need at the College.

“Finances can be one of the biggest barriers to pursing higher education. There’s a lot you can do to support students and their learning experience at Douglas, and at the time we knew a bursary was the best fit for us,” says Nick. “Bursaries address unmet financial need, which has a visible impact on students. Oftentimes money isn’t the only barrier students face, so we did everything we could to ensure as many students as possible are eligible.” 

For Nick, the opportunity to meet the recipients of the bursary has been one of the unexpected highlights.

“It’s been a true honour to meet these students and learn about their goals and aspirations. One student I remember in particular was a single mother with two young kids, working a job, while trying to finish her degree,” says Nick. “Her journey reminded me why I’m so involved in my community. It can make such a difference.”

To learn about the many ways you can make a difference at Douglas College, visit the Douglas College Foundation website.