Here are essays from our three bursary winners.
Each was awarded $750.
Thank you to our Bursary Sponsors:
  • Master Packaging
  • Holland College
  • Canadian Tire.

Martin Arsenault

I have faced many challenges in continuing my studies such as raising a family of three kids, two dogs, a cat, my age and length of time I have been out of school. It is a major stressor to take the steps to finish my GED because life is quite busy with a family. Money is also an issue with many bills that must be paid such as vehicle maintenance, household bills, the costs of raising a family and traveling into town.

I plan on finishing my GED because I already passed four out of the five tests and have my test on writing left to complete. I plan on working toward getting out of seasonal work so I can support my family in a better way. I have been trying for years to get out of seasonal work. It would be nice to have the feeling that I can fully support my family.

I am inspired to get my GED because I want to be able to provide for my family and I want to get a career that requires me to have my grade twelve education. I know that finishing my GED will allow me to get a full time and permanent job allowing me to fully provide the basic needs of myself and my family.

Morgan Clow

For a long time, I knew I wanted to go back to school to get my GED but the timing was just never right. Finally, two years ago, I was ready. I enrolled in Adult Education programs at Holland College and was able to pass four of the five subjects. I just have math left which I have been working on while enrolled in the WES Program.

Some of the challenges I have faced to continue my studies would be due to trauma in my early childhood, which also let to other challenges such as memory issues. I often couldn’t retain the information given to me. I could understand a concept one day and forget it the next day. That then led to me having no confidence in myself in school. Due to these challenges, I always found myself needing more time to work on things in class than the other kids. The larger classes in school didn’t help. I fell behind.

My goal for the longest time has been to get my GED. I’m hoping to finish it this year! To be honest, I’m not completely sure what I want to do for my career yet. Just getting my Grade 12 is a huge goal for me. Once that is done, I will be able to make a new goal for myself!

Many people have encouraged me to go back to school over the years but had to wait until I was ready. 2 years ago, I finally decided that I was ready and that I had to do this for myself. I guess you could say that I was inspired by me and by the dreams I had for myself. I’m proud of how hard I have worked there last two years and know that if I keep working and studying, my dream of getting my GED will come true.

Kaitlynn MacKinnon

There are many reasons I decided to return to school. In this day and age it is very difficult to gain employment without your grade twelve or equivalent. School still is an uphill battle due to my challenges-PTSD and intellectual challenges as well.

Growing up I did not have a very strong support system. I struggled in school, and always was trying to keep up in class and not fall behind. Teachers back then would not pay much attention to me because I always required help and I was always the last person to get help.   My support system back then would always say why bother because school and post-secondary is not going to be worth my while. I am very determined to get my GED and hopefully continue on with a photography program at Holland College. When my mind is set on something I do not give up. I also now have a support system that believes in me and has inspired me to go back to school.

There was one morning one of my support workers and I were talking and trying to figure out what I was going to do. Kathy mentioned to me have you ever considered going back to school? Kathy told me it would be hard work but knew I could do the work. My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. Kathy also helped me to put in extra supports in place for writing my exams and schoolwork. I have completed all my subjects except math, which I am continuing to work on now with Kathy’s support along with others.

I truly have Kathy to thank for the boost of self-confidence and help and giving me the push, I needed to go back to school. With going back to school, it has allowed me to learn and grow and work hard to achieve a lifetime goal of acquiring my GED. With continued hard work, I am planning on graduating from a program that I feel so passionate about. So I am able to get a job which in turn provides independence, self-confidence and self-worth esteem.

Since facing my challenges, I know nothing can stand in the way with completing my goals. With wanting to become a professional photographer, there is nothing standing in my way. Where my life is headed, I can see myself with a career that I have a passion for. Going through school and accomplishing the GED and moving on to secondary there will be an end in sight. With all of this said I have my surrounding supports to thank, and believing in me that school is possible and the boost I needed.