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Giving Story: Rick Brzezowski

Rick Brzezowski sits at one of the new study carrels recently installed with his family’s funding

A story from my past and another reason why I love and support IPS

Several years ago, I opened a box and found my grade 7 year book (class of ’75 – yikes, I’m getting old). Incredibly, my class had 36 students and in looking at everyone’s picture, it reminded me of the wide range in academic, behavioural, and social-emotional development. It highlighted that it was more of an exercise in crowd control than education.

I grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks” in a proud hardworking community in North Edmonton that did not have the opportunity to experience the power of education. Only about 20 out of almost 600 students in my grade 12 class  went on to post secondary. I remember tutoring two students in a buddy system in this grade 7 class who had severe academic struggles. There were many others as well, and most of them quit before finishing high school. In hindsight, what is evident to me is that the learning strategies program we have at IPS would have vastly improved many of these people’s lives.

IPS gives our students many advantages and learning strategies is an important one because it helps our students develop important learning skills which leads to warranted confidence and improved self esteem – what could be better! I love IPS and one of my joys has been watching a wide range of students thrive at IPS who would likely have had a much different outcomes in my day. We are very fortunate to have IPS. Because of that, my family has made a 5 year commitment to fund innovation and professional development in our learning strategies program and I encourage other families who have seen the huge benefits of this program to participate in helping to improve the program from excellent to extraordinary.

Finally, I would also like to give a heartfelt thank you to Amanda, Diana and Jen Z. for all they do to make our Learning Strategies Program so successful.

Rick Brzezowski
November 2018