The 1916 Bursary positively impacted my life. It provided me with financial aid throughout my four years in college. The course I undertook required me to be in college full-time with a lot of continuous assessment therefore holding down a part time job, being a single mother and attending college while doing assignments and studying was not feasible long term.
I worked part time for 1st and 2nd year on weekends but as the workload of the course increased, I decided to step away from part time work and give my full attention to my degree and my son. The bursary allowed me to do this.
I grew up in a disadvantaged area. My home life was very unstable and I fell pregnant when I was 17 just after I sat my leaving cert. I moved out of home at 17 and I co parent with my son’s dad since he was 2 and he is now 8. I felt gaining a 3rd level degree was my only way out of the benefits system and my only way of providing my son my with a stable home and a future where he would not endure the struggles that I did when I was growing up. Thankfully I achieved my goals and secured employment as a laboratory analyst just after finishing my degree.
At the time when I was awarded the Bursary I didn’t realise the impact it would go on to have on my education in 3rd level. Nobody knows what the road ahead looks like but I soon came to realise how much I needed the money and how much I depended on it each semester to get me through. Without the Bursary, I think I would’ve completed my degree but I would’ve struggled financially which would’ve caused a lot of stress and probably would have affected my grades and I don’t think I would have done as well as what I have done in the course.
The process for applying was relatively easy and done online. I was open and honest about my situation and how the money would impact my life and higher education.