As the first person in her family to go to university, psychiatrist Dr. Lindsey George understands the power of education as a pathway to prosperity. “My parents immigrated here in 1957 when I was just three,” she says. “They had limited education, but they were both able to get good factory jobs and make a comfortable living for our family.
That’s not true anymore. Things have changed. We know that for young people today, education is the key to well paying jobs.” With a focus on the future, Lindsey’s parents encouraged her to excel in higher education and she did – first at Mohawk College’s Child and Youth Program, then through an honours BA at night at McMaster University, a master’s degree from York University, and finally – at age 39 with two children – her MD from McMaster. “My father was dying when I applied to medical school,” says Lindsey with tears in her eyes, “but he hung on until he heard that I had been accepted.”
As a tribute to her parents, Lindsey and her husband Peter Archibald started the Betty and Jack George Family Fund at Hamilton Community Foundation. It consolidates their charitable giving and focuses on employment for youth in poverty and at risk, areas that she and Peter are passionate about. They were attracted to HCF because of its leadership role in poverty reduction and in working collaboratively. “In all my volunteer life, I haven’t seen this kind of coming together,” Lindsey says. “The Foundation has found a way to connect people on important issues – people from different fields of work, different histories and experiences, and different cultures. It’s a new and exciting way of working.”
Lindsey was chairing a multi-sector group working toward affordable housing when she first approached Hamilton Community Foundation for advice. Since then, she has participated in the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction and is an HCF board member. “HCF brings together incredibly active, passionate people,” she says, “and I’m learning every day. If we can get the word out about the work Hamilton Community Foundation is doing, people will want to support it as Peter and I have. We’re still in the middle of our careers, but even a modest contribution like ours can have a huge impact today and even more in the years to come.”
The couple’s encouragement of higher education is celebrated through daughter Lindsey and son-in-law Peter’s fund at HCF.
Excerpt from 2009-2010 Annual Report