“I did a medical degree, so I spent 6 years at UCD. Putting it simply I wouldn’t be here without the help of a scholarship. My biggest worry in college was how I could afford life in general. Unfortunately, my mother was quite sick with severe early onset Alzheimer’s and my dad had to be her carer so wasn’t able to work at all, so we had very little money. There was a lot of balance with study, part-time work and caring duties at home. The scholarship helped every single month. It meant I had to worry less about the rent and the cost of transport to and from my classes and my part time job.
Getting into medicine in UCD was such an opportunity and I was trying to figure out how not to waste it because of my financial circumstances. I think medicine is hard enough as it is and a lot of time I felt like I was doing a degree on the side which isn’t really how you are meant to do it. In my final year I couldn’t work because of my study hours and responsibilities at home so I had to go into debt. There was no way around it and if I didn’t have the scholarship I don’t know if I would be here.
By getting me through my degree, the scholarship has given me the confidence to realise that financial barriers can be broken, maybe not so easily, but with a lot of hard work and determination they absolutely can. The scholarship didn’t just get me through my degree, it got me through it with a lot of friends, social experiences, memories, and a lot of professional experience as well. It gave me the foot in the door I needed into research which has gotten me into my PhD in neuroscience.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped support a scholarship. It can quite literally mean the difference in being able to do a semester and dropping out. Not everyone has the same level of privilege, some people have no problem going through college with no difficulty and don’t ever have to think of it as being an issue. Thanks to this scholarship, it really evens out the playing field.”