If you’re a fan of peanut butter, no doubt you’ve heard of Royal Roads University Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding graduate, Jill Van Gyn’s company Fatso.

But before there was peanut butter, Van Gyn was looking to rebuild her life after recovering from addiction. That journey led her to studying at Royal Roads University where she received an entrance award to assist her in financing her studies.

It paid off.

Van Gyn started Fatso in 2016. As founder and CEO, Van Gyn has grown the company to a multi-million-dollar enterprise with its products sold in grocery stores across North America.

But the success of the company was just the beginning for Van Gyn, who leveraged her Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding when the pandemic hit in 2020. She saw that food banks and grocery store shelves were bare and shifted the focus of Fatso Peanut Butter to food security. In 2022, the company donated $250,000 to the people who needed it most across North America.

“When I reflect on this accomplishment, it all started at Royal Roads University. I developed invaluable relationship, business and career skills that set me up for success, even if my path was unique. It gave me courage and strength to overcome significant challenges, and I will never forget the generosity of the donors that funded my entrance award,” Van Gyn says.

Financial assistance through an entrance award can be the difference between achieving a dream or not. Donations to Royal Roads Entrance Awards ease the pressures that come with higher learning and helps to start a student’s journey off on the right foot.

“I know when they graduate, they will do great things too,” Van Gyn says of future entrance award recipients.