The William Quinter Society was created in late 2015. The nonprofit was named in honor of Bill Quinter who worked in Canadian professional football for over fifty years. Behind the scenes he spent his time running youth football camps where young football players could develop their skills. From that, he created organizations in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba that still exist today and have helped thousands of young football players move on to post-secondary schools where they played football, but also earned degrees.
In 2016 I created the Best in Class football camps as a low-cost alternative to what was being offered to young football players at the time. The camps brought in the best players from all over the province to showcase their skills to university football programs across Canada and receive scholarships to attend those schools and earn their degrees.
With the rise of COVID, we recognized the need to repurpose the Society’s mission. That led us to expand our reach beyond sports, and thus was born Samwel’s Place. Samwel Uko was a high school football star but he also an amazing young man with a very bright future ahead. Samwel graduated from high school and received a scholarship to play football at university. But he was fighting demons nobody else could see. In the summer of 2019, Samwel started hearing voices and those voices were becoming louder and darker.
One night in 2019, Samwel sought help for the voices, and he was rejected by the medical professionals who should have helped him. By the next morning, Samwel was gone. Samwel’s Place was created in his honor to give youth a safe place to go. A place to access resources and real-time help. A place to access mentors and a place to help aspiring youth, especially marginalized youth gain access to scholarships for post-secondary education. Samwel’s Place, under The William Quinter Society, will help young people (aged 13-24) develop and showcase their talents and earn scholarships through contests we will be running, as well as helping them source additional scholarships and grants from other sources.
Samwel's Place Artistic Showcase - A Provincial Championship
This program is based on the Arts. Music, writing, art, singing, video editing, acting. We will be running contests in each of these categories three times a year (Sept-Dec, Jan-Mar and Apr-Jun). These contests will be open to all high school students in the province. You can choose to enter as many of these contests as you like. All entries will be judged by experts in those particular artistic fields.
The winners in each contest will have their work showcased across our social media platforms as well as on our website and at our annual gala. Additionally, the winners in each contest will either receive a cash prize (TBD) or in the case of graduating seniors a scholarship to post-secondary school. Second and third place winners in each group will also have their work showcased.
We are partnering with schools like Vancouver Film School, Sarah Mclachlan School of music, Emily Carr University, Vancouver College of Art, the VSO School of Music and many more. They will also be seeing your work and in many cases be on the panels choosing the winners. This is an opportunity for all young artists to show their incredible work and talents and be discovered.
As mentioned, these contests are open to any high school students aged 13018. However they are also open to kids (13-18) who may not be following a traditional curriculum in high school, who are being home-schooled or who may not be in school at all because they come from a marginalized community and have been excluded through bullying or because of money or other reasons.