On receiving the news that I had been awarded the bursary I felt very proud that I had been recognised to be someone who deserved a chance to continue my education against all odds. As a mature student with an illness and a separated parent living alone with my children, the main stress in life for me is financial. The bursary took away a lot of this stress, and in doing so, my health did not deteriorate over the academic year.
The bursary has enabled me to focus on my studies rather than focusing on my financial struggle. My socio-economic status does not define me anymore with regards to education. It would have been quite difficult for me to achieve higher education without the assistance of the bursary.
In my degree I am analysing plays and performances, and this means that I must attend as many performances as I can to analyse and learn from what I am experiencing before me onstage. The bursary meant that I could afford to buy tickets for the Dublin Theatre Festival and other performances throughout the year. It is very costly to attend productions on a regular basis and the bursary enabled me to focus fully on my college work and not have to worry about these costs eating into my low weekly income. I have also been able to purchase academic books and materials.
The application is not difficult at all. There are some questions about your personal situation and some financial questions. The best advice I can give is to write honestly, this is the place to show who you are. Be proud of the resilience you possess and your determination to get an education that you deserve. There is nothing to be worried about when applying.
I am so very proud to be a 1916 bursary scholar. This has really helped me believe in my abilities. I feel that I have another chance at life at 48 years young. I have begun a new chapter in my life story, and it is going to be a page turner!