In 1978, Sandi Miles came to work for Sunbeam at the Kingsway location. Sandi dedicated her life to helping others and to lifelong learning.
Sandy (with a y) Roxborough, her daughter, recalls visiting Sunbeam Centre, touring the facility with her mom, and hearing her mother’s work stories that centered on a common theme – the importance of helping one another. Sandy says her mother lived by the Edwin Markham quote, “[t]here is a destiny that makes us brothers; none goes his way alone, all that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.” She also often heard her say, “you will be enriched by what you give.”
Sandi’s death in 1989 sparked a decade-long effort to memorialize this great woman, which ultimately resulted in the founding of The Sandi Miles Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a child or grandchild of employees of Sunbeam Centre (who have been working with the organization for 3 or more years). Applicants must be enrolled in a full time course of study in the Human Services field at a recognized college or university in Ontario.
Carrissa Bierman was the very first recipient of this award in 2000. She attended Georgian College in 2000 and mentioned in a thank you letter to the family that she greatly appreciated the help with her education and that she was, “really excited about completing school, and getting out into the working world.”
Rebecca Hrab received the award in 2008. At that time she was studying at the University of Ottawa, starting her third year of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Since then she has gone on to work in a Cardiac Surgery ICU, to work with remote Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario, to obtain her Master of Public Health, and to work as a Regional Communicable Disease and TB Coordinator in Nunavut. Rebecca is now working at a Community Health Centre in Ottawa and is a clinical instructor for fourth year nursing students completing their community health nursing practicum. “I feel honoured to be a part of peoples’ lives when they are [at their] most vulnerable, and to help shape the future nursing workforce who will be the advocates for people who may not have a voice or who [would otherwise] go unheard. Receiving the Sandi Miles Memorial Scholarship during my BScN supported me in achieving my nursing goals, and has helped me help so many others through my work,” shared Rebecca. Rebecca is the living embodiment of everything the Sandi Miles Memorial Scholarship stands for.
This year marked the celebration of the 21st recipient of the Sandi Miles Memorial Scholarship. On September 26th, 2018, Sunbeam Centre’s Board of Directors unveiled a commemorative plaque, recognizing past and future recipients and this year’s recipient, Madison Hoelscher, accepted her award. Madison is the daughter of Lori Hoelscher, Service Coordinator for Development Services Resource Centre (DSRC). Madison has now started her second year at University of Guelph where she is working to obtain her Bachelor of Applied Science in Child, Youth, and Family studies.
Sandi Miles’ legacy here at Sunbeam Centre lives on in more ways than one – the scholarship in her name and all the lives it has changed, the enrichment of our work here because of her dedication and contributions over the course of her career with us, and through her family, particularly her daughter, Sandy, who currently serves on Sunbeam Centre’s Board of Directors and carries forward her mother’s memory every day.