Janine's Story: Empowered to Build a Future

June 17, 2019


Janine’s career goals changed a few times throughout her youth, but one thing that never changed was her perspective of what a meaningful career meant to her. The common denominator was always the same - she wanted to work with oppressed people who were in need of help.

Once she settled on social work she then had to address the high costs associated with this degree on top of personal challenges. Janine suffered from an autoimmune condition which forced her to spend time in Sick Kids hospital throughout high school. In addition to her personal health complications, her mother also suffers from a degenerative disease and has battled cancer multiple times.

These struggles added to the pain Janine already experienced as a young child, when her father developed an addiction that cost the family their home and savings, including her education fund. Her mother ended up raising the family as a single parent on disability funds and whatever small jobs she could do. Even with every family member working as much as they could, the family lived well below the poverty line, and Janine worried about whether she would be able to go to university at all.

Janine felt a strong sense of hope when she first heard about the Children’s Foundation Scholarship Program. “Knowing that there was the option for me to receive financial assistance gave me a sense of relief and allowed me to feel more confident in pursuing my educational goals.”

 The scholarship helped Janine to afford the textbooks she needed for her courses, which further allowed her to maintain a high GPA.  With hard work, she was one of only 45 students selected to continue on in the social work professional second year class.

When asked what she would say to the donors who make the Scholarship Program possible, Janine responded, “I would stress my gratitude towards these individuals for being an integral part of such an enriching program. Their support empowers students and enables them to work towards achieving their goals. They serve as role models in the community of Guelph, demonstrating generosity and prioritizing accessibility to education for all. This type of character influences others in the community and can change the lives of many.”