NAIT alum and employee gives hope and help to students

Published on August 22, 2023

NAIT Systems Analyst Steve Parent-Korbie is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. Drawing from his lived experience, unique insight and his abilities, he does whatever he can to help students in need. 

Persevering to live

Born 3 months premature and with cerebral palsy, Steve defied overwhelming odds after doctors gave him only a 5% chance of living past his first 24 hours. Steve not only survived but grew up recognizing his capacity to create a positive impact in the world. 

“I know, from personal experience, that everyone needs assistance at least one time in their life so I like to live by the pay it forward concept,” he says. “That is why I get involved by donating monetarily and giving my time.” 

In 2012, he graduated from NAIT’s Bachelor of Applied Information Systems program, completing his studies while also working full-time as a systems analyst at NAIT.  

“I know only too well how much working students can struggle. I was burning the candle at both ends, but thankfully, I made it through.”   

Paying it forward

Steve is now approaching 25 years as a NAIT employee. He volunteers on his department’s social committee, gives to the NAIT Fund and United Way, and has served as an ambassador for the NAIT it Forward staff fundraising campaign for the past 5 years.  

By contributing to scholarships, bursaries and improved student services through NAIT it Forward, NAIT staff, like Steve, directly contribute to easing the pressures that many students face. This could mean enabling students to work fewer hours to pay for school, freeing up more time to dedicate to coursework, or easing stress by helping them afford food, rent, books or tools.  

Steve says he gladly encourages staff to donate to NAIT it Forward whenever he gets the opportunity. He reminds them that the impact on their wallet can be small in comparison to, for example, the impact an emergency bursary can have to a student facing a financial crisis. 

Steve is the ultimate NAIT ambassador. He has devoted his career to help keep NAIT’s computer systems up and running, he freely gives his time and money to support NAIT students and relishes in the opportunity to encourage others to do the same.  

"Anything I can do to help NAIT students succeed, I'm all for it."

Fun Fact: Steve was an official torch bearer for the 2010 Winter Olympic games  

Steve Parent-Korbie 2010 Olympic Torch bearer

In 2009, Steve submitted an essay on how he personally embodies the Olympic spirit, touching on all he had overcome throughout his life, including challenges accessing mainstream education. He won and fulfilled a dream he’d had since he was 14 years old!   

 At the time of the torch relay, he said it was important to him “to allow future generations to see that no matter how the odds are stacked up against you, with dedication and perseverance any dream you have can come true.”