Scholarship Amount: $10,000
School: University of Regina
The loss of my father in 2014 greatly affected my post-secondary plans. Ever since I was a little girl, I imagined myself going to a large university far away from home that was very competitive and challenging. I wanted to go to the University of Waterloo.
Unfortunately, my dad got very sick in 2011 and we had to use all of our money paying for medications that we didn't have insurance on, parking in hospitals, and hotels when we had to go to Winnipeg or further for surgeries and treatments. My father had pancreatitis and battled with it for three years. When he died, all of our money from the little life insurance he had was put into the funeral costs and the costs of living off of one income. That money did not go far, and we had to use the savings my parents put away for my brothers and I for education. With tuition being over $20,000/year for Waterloo, I quickly realized that I was never going to make it to my dream school. It was too expensive for me to move far away and I couldn't leave my mother as she is still grieving. My mother was put on disability as she got injured at work and my whole family was living off of $1000/month.
If my dad had proper life insurance, we would have been able to pay for his funeral without using all of the life insurance money that we got when he passed. We would have been able to save that money and budget it in order to set ourselves up for the future. My older brother would have been able to go to college without getting massive student loans that he will be paying off for the next 20 years. My eldest brother would have been able to go to a better care home where he could have been more successful in his development and motor skills due to his disability. We could have bought him the technology he needs in order to survive instead of living a meaningless life. With adequate life insurance, my mother wouldn't have had to work three jobs while my brother and I worked two in order to make ends meet. I would have gotten to live a normal childhood of playing and enjoying the years I will never get back instead of working every day and not wanting to get up in the morning.
I knew that I needed to help my mother. I worked every day, I made sure I kept my grades up, I studied during the times where I didn't work. I studied so much because I realized I have the potential to give my mom the life she deserves - as well as my brothers. I can make a real difference by going to university and working really hard in order to succeed in my career and pay off my mom and brother's debt. That dream is all the determination I need to strive for success.