Amber S.


2021 Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Amount: $10,000
School: Ryerson University
Program: Social Work

I remember my early childhood years being very lonely and depressing. Up until the age of sixteen, I and my 7 brothers were extremely abused and neglected by both of our parents. In winter of 2018, I reached out to a crisis hotline and the police started investigating my family. I then came into foster care on August 02, 2018. My parents attempted to avoid police and Children's Aid detection for many months, until December of 2018 when the police found them; and my younger brothers were also put into foster care and my father was arrested. My father has been incarcerated since then and has been sentenced to one year in prison. I lost my father at this time and have not had him in my life since then.

I was able to be reunited with my mother and three younger brothers in December of 2018, only to find out that my mother was murdered on April 10, 2019. I have now lost both of my parents and have been an orphan since. My older brother was the one who murdered her, and he has since gone to prison for it, so I have lost him, too. This has all been extremely hard on me, because I have had to go through my early teenage years being abused and neglected, and then my later and current years, abandoned by my father and having lost my mother and brother as well.

The loss of my parents has impacted my post-secondary plans significantly; because the plan before my mother died was to live with her, rent-free, while I worked part-time to put myself through University, now that opportunity is lost and I have to work a lot more, while going to school full-time, in order to put myself through school; and my biggest fear is being in debt. Neither of my parents had life insurance. My mother worked as a server at a fast-food store for 30 years but was never put on a salary or had benefits. My father never worked once in 25 years and received no benefits and had no savings from previous jobs. If they had insurance, it would make paying for University a lot easier and I would be less stressed about it.

I do not take my independence, freedom, life, family, friends, or post-secondary opportunities for granted. The program that I have applied to is the Bachelor of Social Work at 5 Universities; I am awaiting to be accepted into Ryerson so I can start my first year in September of 2021. My passion is helping foster children, and I believe this would be a great opportunity to do so; as I can apply my previous life experience in foster care, to my career in Social Work, in order to help as many children as possible.

Receiving this scholarship would allow me to work less, in order to put more focus and energy into school and succeed/excel as a student and Social Worker.

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