I attended Westdale Secondary School from 1985 to 1989, graduating summa cum laude and receiving an Ontario Scholar’s award. I then attended McMaster University from 1990 to 1995 where I studied Humanities, focusing on Classical studies – specifically Latin and Greek translation. Once again, I graduated summa cum laude and received the A. G. McKay prize in Classical studies, which is awarded for excellent grades. My education continued as I went on to attain my Master’s degree in classical degree languages. In 1994–1995, I attended Brock University, receiving my Bachelor of Education.
My first year at McMaster was a difficult one, as my father had left our family in financial hardship. My memories are a little hazy, but I believe that Dr. James Dale, a professor at McMaster University and a member of the same church that I attended with my family, found out about my financial difficulties. I believe he made an appointment with the financial department so that he and I could investigate the options available for me. It was during this appointment that I learned about the Chaney-Ensign Bursary. He also helped me complete the request.
On graduation, I was hired as an occasional teacher by the Wentworth School Board in 1997 (now HWDSB) and have been a full time teacher since 1999. I teach the youngest students in our elementary school because I want to instill in them the love of learning that I have had since I first started my educational journey.
I would not have been able to complete my studies at McMaster had I not received the bursary. Without it, I would have had to put my educational goals on hold while I earned sufficient funds to pay for my education. The bursary relieved the stress and uncertainty of whether or not I would be able to continue to attend McMaster and ultimately fulfill my dreams of becoming a teacher.
If I could say something to the sisters who provided this bursary fund, I would simply say, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You saved my life and made it possible for me to fulfill my dreams.” I am truly grateful that there are people who are kind enough to share their wealth and good fortune. If I am ever in a financial situation where I can do the same, I will not hesitate to do so.