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Rosalyn Martin co-founds the Canadian Coalition of Youth Peace and Security

Graduating in 2021 from Queen’s University, with a degree in political and gender studies, Rosalyn is already immersed in political activities. She also believes it takes a community to support a post-secondary student!“I feel so lucky to have been supported by RAYS place through the duration of my undergraduate degree. RAYS has alleviated components of financial stress, allowing me to spend time volunteering, getting involved in community work and developing career networks. I have been able to sit in the House of Commons, advocate for others through various Student Government positions, take on volunteer opportunities in politics, work with the Canadian Council of Young Feminists, and the Canadian Coalition of Youth Peace and Security. These are areas that I am incredibly passionate about and have strengthened my sense of community within my chosen fields. One day, I hope to give back to young students just as RAYS has supported me, ensuring that post-secondary education is unconditionally accessible and encouraging a consensus of community care in all that we do.”

Josh, RAYS Graduate, accepts one-year position at US-based Green Corps

Like many students, he caught the university activist bug and got involved in politics and the environment, completing his studies in these areas. Upon graduation he accepted a one-year position in the Field School for Environmental Organizing at the US-based organization: Green Corps in Seattle. Four months later, he moved to Philadelphia to work with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. By the summer, he will be an experienced organizer ready to bring both his talent and passion back to Canada. He has readily acknowledged the role RAYS played in making this happen. “Over the years, RAYS has become like a family to me, full of caring and supportive people that want nothing more than to help you achieve your full potential. I don’t think the people at RAYS will ever truly know how big of an impact they have had on me throughout the years, but I hope they know how thankful I am.” RAYS has been very proud to have been able to support his education and see him thrive in his new role.

Hannah in Fish and Wildlife program counts on RAYS support system

Hannah Stockford, studying at Fleming College, reports, “I’ve always had a natural curiosity for the natural world, but it wasn’t until Grade 9 that I realized I could turn this curiosity into a career. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work with Long Point Bird Observatory doing bird banding. It was there, specifically during the young ornithologist workshop I did in 2017, I realized that I loved educating people about the natural world around them. College can be expensive, so a bursary from RAYS provided some peace of mind going into my first and second years. Additionally, RAYS provided me with a support system that I can count on every step of the way. It’s reassuring to know that there is a community of people that have my back when things get tough.”

Jordan, a 2019 graduate, loves her job and thanks RAYS sponsors

Jordan Charles graduated in 2019 from Brock University in Child and Youth Studies and is now working in her field as a developmental support worker. “RAYS took away some of the stress that I otherwise would have had to pay for my schooling. Instead of focussing on where I was going to find enough money to get through school, I was able to focus on getting good grades, experiencing new things and making meaningful relationships with new people.” Jordan adds, “The gratitude I have toward RAYS and my sponsors for their contribution to my schooling is beyond words. It is truly an amazing organization. I now work in my field and it’s the best job ever!”

Ryan thrives in his program at Fleming College

Ryan Gillis spent his summers working at Camp Maple Leaf where he developed a passion for helping youth with unique challenges. He’s another RAYS recipient and is in a three-year program to become a Child and Youth Care Worker. “I am loving the program. It’s everything I wanted it to be. I’m surrounded by people with similar values and beliefs in wanting to work with youth at risk or with special needs. It’s all established on working on the youth’s strength and by focusing on what they are doing right can develop and improve their situation,” said Gillis.

Amy completes internship with a Member of Parliament

Amy Hinchey, a 2018 RAYS scholarship recipient attending Carleton University in Global and International Studies, applauds the support from RAYS: “RAYS relieves some of my financial stress and provides a really supportive network for me. It has allowed me the freedom to be more involved with school being active in the Student Society, and this year, becoming a director. This past year I completed an internship as an administrative assistant with a Member of Parliament in Ottawa that gave me so much hands-on experience. I believe it’s what you learn in the classroom along with opportunities outside of the classroom that shape who you really want to be.”

Abby cheers RAYS support for both education and networking

Abby Ruppert, who will graduate in 2020 with a degree in Kinesiology from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, expresses her appreciation for the support she has received from RAYS, “I am so incredibly thankful to RAYS and all of the people who both directly and indirectly have supported, helped, encouraged, and pushed me to where I stand today. To the board members, the sponsors, our mentors, the selection committee, and so many others, you have provided both me and the other students with both education and networking opportunities that may not have been possible without your help!” Abby looks forward to remaining a part of the RAYS community in service of future scholarship recipients as they pursue their post-secondary education.

Allison aims to return to Clearview and give back to the amazing community

Allison McLeod, who is in Business studies at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, tells of her transition to college life and her appreciation for the support she has received from RAYS as part of that process, reporting that “My year has been going extremely well so far but of course it comes with some ups and downs, second tries and lots of adjustments. Overall, I am enjoying my first year back at school and am very grateful for all the help and support I have received from everyone at RAYS. I would love to come back to the Clearview area after finishing school and be able to give back to our amazing community.”