I bumped into John Prystanski at the University of Manitoba on Wednesday.
Prystanski was a city councillor when I covered city hall for the Free Press alongside Freep reporter Radha Krishnan Thampi in the early ‘90s.
Prystanski represented the North End ward of Point Douglas from 1989 to 2002. After he left city hall he operated a chrome plating business for a short time.
He’s now 44 and in his second year of law school at the U of M.
Prystanski said in the past couple of years he’s done various contact work which required a lawyer’s signature. Rather than spend money hiring a lawyer for that kind of work he said he decided to become one.
Prystanski is still involved with the Westland Foundation http://westlandfoundation.ca/ which he created in 1993. The foundation is a not-for-profit organization and a federally-registered charity that helps young people from the inner-city get a post-secondary education.
The foundation is about to launch a fundraising campaign towards an endowment fund to help even more kids get an education, he said.
To date $1 million has been raised for the Westland Foundation Education Fund.
The funds raised have been endowed with the Foundation's four partners, Red River College, U of M, University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Foundation.
In 2008, Westland Foundation began awarding scholarships at RRC.
Prystanski said the foundation wants raise an additional $3.5 million to expand the scholarship program to the U of M and the U of W.