As some may know, the time spent earning my undergraduate degree was marred by a number of hardships. While I had always been a very good student and had anticipated thriving throughout my four years of University, instead I experienced immense financial hardship that seriously threatened my chances at even finishing my degree.
I didn’t qualify for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) or for any available grants/bursaries. I juggled a multitude of different part-time jobs throughout the four years of school (Lifeguard, Personal Chef, Barista, Grocery Store Cashier, and Summer School Secretary) in order to try and pay the bills. I slotted my classes around the scheduling of shifts for these multiple part-time jobs. I remember hearing at the time that a single person earning a before-tax income of less than $20,778 was living below the poverty line. “Huh”, I thought, “so, this is poverty”. My income during my University years averaged $7,278 – $7,723.
I have to admit though, I am so very grateful for this set of experiences because it certainly shaped the woman that I have developed into. I feel truly blessed for all of life’s riches (financial and otherwise). I can stand proud of all I have been able to accomplish. I am especially pleased with the direction of my career; having achieved many successes that I never would have even thought possible.
“The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one’s opportunities and make the most of one’s resources”.
-Marquis de Vauvenargues
In that vein, I have committed to directing my own resources towards fostering the development of others. My dream is that others do not have to experience a similar set of circumstances; that their journey to obtain a degree or diploma is not limited by their financial constraints.
So, I wish to announce that the Aspiring Healthcare Leaders Bursary Fund has been established to support the continuing education and training of admirable female students in the Grey Bruce area. I also feel incredibly blessed that this fund will benefit from fund matching, via the Smart & Caring Communities Initiative. David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada, describes the Smart & Caring Communities movement via the following 2:25 minute video:
Matching will be provided via a 2:1 ratio (for every $2 raised until December 31, 2016 the Community Foundation will match $1, up to a maximum of $10,000).
The Aspiring Healthcare Leaders Bursary Fund will distribute funds annually to deserving students using the following criteria:
- To a student who is graduating from a qualified Grey Bruce secondary school and enrolled in a qualified college or university program in the field of healthcare (social work, nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology and other non-regulated healthcare professions) and who has demonstrated a commitment to leadership through broad volunteerism and/or activism at school, in their community and/or their faith, beyond the requirements of 40 hours of volunteer time.
- To a student currently enrolled in a qualified college or university program in healthcare (social work, nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology and other non-regulated healthcare professions) who has demonstrated a commitment to leadership through broad volunteerism and/or activism at school, in their community and/or their faith, beyond the requirements of 40 hours of volunteer time.
This fund is professionally managed by the Community Foundation Grey Bruce. The Community Foundation provides proven, accredited, professional administration and management of the funds. For more information, please see: Community Foundation Grey Bruce website
To contribute to the Aspiring Healthcare Leaders Bursary Fund, please click here.