Elizabeth M.


2021 Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Amount: $10,000
Program: Nursing

On June 6th, 2011, my mom suffered an unexpected heart attack that took her life. I was only seven-years-old. I repeatedly thought to myself, “Why me? Why us?”. The human body, glorious yet mysterious in its ways, failed her that day and held the power of creating a burden that my family and I will carry for the rest of our lives. I don’t remember much from my childhood, but the spitting image of finding my own mother lifeless on the bedroom floor replays in my mind every time I think of her.

Only three years before her passing, my parents immigrated to Canada to live out a more secure life. My dad worked long shifts at a job he earned a year prior, as my mom stayed home with my brother, studying countless hours. When she died without life insurance, we drowned in financial stress while grieving. There was no income flow as my dad, the only adult we had, was now to take care of my infant brother and I. We were quickly met with the significant weight that debt puts on one's life. Necessities like food, paying bills and acquiring the accommodations that two little kids demand became privileges. I jeopardized my youth and gave up my childhood in order to take on the main womanly role in order to maintain the homey environment that moms create. Eventually, we were able to overcome the tragedy and get back on our feet but money remained an unstable asset. Even now, a decade later at 17, I am constantly worrying about money. Evidently, if we had another parent or gotten life insurance, I would be able to experience post-secondary education and its benefits without money being a constant

stressor. That is why I seek this scholarship award. I am motivated to go into nursing school and complete the 4-year degree program, however I do not have the means to afford it. The $10,000 would provide financial freedom, stability, and security for my family and I. In addition, I am resorting to a closer institution as it is my only option since I cannot bear to be piled under tuition and residency expenses. On the other hand, if my family was financially stable, I could have attended my dream University with the best nursing program.

A singular blood clot is all it took for the heart to get clogged and for my mom to suffocate all alone. My mother’s death, traumatic in its nature, built the person I am today. Trauma forced me to mature faster but it also made me stronger. Life tried to bring us down but we came out willing to work hard to turn it around. I am truly grateful for everything I possess today but the Manulife Scholarship would remarkably enhance my life by providing unimaginable opportunities for my future.

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