Mya R.


2023 Scholarship Recipient


Scholarship Amount: $10,000
Program: Child and Youth Work/Education

My parents passed away in 2014 when I was nine years old. Growing up without parents has had a significant impact on my teenage years and my overall development as an 18-year-old girl. My post-secondary education plans were not directly affected by the loss of my parents, but I had to put hours and hours into work to ensure that I could help support myself for my future.

My need to work hard was directly impacted by not having life insurance for my future. With life insurance, it would have provided me more free time to build relationships with my peers. As well, without the financial stability and resources that my parents could have provided, I have had to rely on myself and others to meet my basic needs and pursue my goals. This has often been difficult and stressful, as I have had to work hard and sacrifice my own needs in order to make ends meet.

Despite these challenges, I have also learned valuable lessons and developed important skills as a result of growing up without parents. Without the love, guidance, and support of my parents, I have faced a range of challenges and struggles that have shaped my experiences and shaped the person I am today.

One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a teenager without my parents is the lack of emotional support and guidance. Parental love and support are vital for children and teenagers as they grow and develop, and without this support, it can be difficult to cope with the challenges and stresses of growing up.

Another challenge I have faced is the lack of financial support and resources. Without the constant support and guidance of my parents, I have had to learn to be independent and self-sufficient, taking responsibility for my own actions and decisions. This has taught me valuable lessons about responsibility, resilience, and self-reliance, and has helped me develop a strong sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

In addition to these lessons and skills, growing up without parents has also taught me the importance of social connections and relationships. These relationships have provided me with the love, support, and guidance I truly need to navigate the challenges of growing up and have helped me develop a sense of belonging and connection to others. 

Overall, growing up without parents has been a challenging and often difficult experience, but it has also been an opportunity for growth and development. As I move forward into adulthood, I am grateful for the lessons and experiences I have learned. The help of the Manulife scholarship will ease my financial need, and I am determined to use the money, lessons, and skills to build a bright and fulfilling future for myself, by myself.

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