Carl Smith Stay-in-School Program
The Rotary Club of Calgary, its mentors, and financial support have helped me in ways I cannot explain. My mentor has been so good to me and very accommodating regarding my schooling - she genuinely cares about my success. The financial support I receive from the Rotary Club is the only financial help I get, which has lifted a burden. It lit the fire inside me to complete university with a 4.0 GPA. If it weren’t for this program, I don't know where I would be right now. Thank you for everything - the Rotary Club has made it possible for me to go to university and get my degree, and I will be forever thankful!

V.W. - Carl Smith Stay-in-School Student



The Rotary Carl Smith Stay-in-School Program provides mentorship and financial rewards to local youth, enabling access to higher education. To enable high school completion, students are selected in grade 6 and matched with a mentor until grade 12.


Upon completing high school, participants receive an award for post-secondary tuition and related costs. Graduates are also named Marmie Hess Scholars, recognizing the significant contribution to the Stay-in-School Programs made by the late Margaret (Marmie) Hess.

Marmie Hess (May 1916 – Sept 2016) was a Rotarian, community leader, internationally recognized art historian and lecturer, businesswoman and rancher. She made remarkable contributions to the quality and fabric of life in Calgary. She was also a lifelong learner whose goal in generously supporting youth was
  • To give young people a hand up in realizing a personal goal
  • To encourage young people to develop their character through lifelong learning
Marmie wanted her awards to develop leaders whose lives reflected the values she held dearly, whatever field of endeavour they pursued.




  • Rotarian Carl Smith started the program in 1995.
  • The program has mentored and supported over 300 students.
  • The current program average is 75 students per year, with over 50 active mentors from the community.
  • Over 70 participants have graduated from post-secondary education.
  • Many students have returned to become mentors in the program.
  • Dozens of community partnerships allow students access to valuable resources and services.
  • Funds are raised by donation and the annual Carl Smith Stay-in-School Golf Tournament.



Do you want to have an impact on a child’s life? The Carl Smith Stay-in-School Program provides a unique opportunity to build positive mentor relationships with students needing that extra support. We are always looking for new mentors to join our team! You’ll have what it takes to make a difference with training, support, and resources from program staff. Contact us today!


Learn More About Becoming a Mentor




Contact the Program Coordinator for more information or to get involved:
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