A woman says she feels inspired after being chosen for a scholarship and hopes other students get the same opportunity to pursue their dreams, regardless of their financial status.
Morgan Neault is a Metis student at the University of Winnipeg, studying Education. She works two jobs, one full time and one part-time, to make her dream of being an early-years teacher come true.
"It has definitely been very stressful. It has been a lot of work having to balance two worlds," Neault says. "I knew coming into this that it was going to be tough, but I knew no matter what it was going to be like this is what I want to do."
Since she was 12 years old, Neault knew for certain she wanted to be a teacher but was exposed to the world at an early age outside of the classroom.
"My cousin is a teacher and she used to bring me to her school sometimes when I would need her to babysit me when my mom was at work."
Catching the teaching bug, Neault began volunteering at the daycare she used to attend as a child and teaching dance. After all of her experience, Neault can confidently say she knows she wants to teach. The difficult part about schooling was not deciding what to do, it was figuring out how to pay for it. This is where the Westland Foundation's entrance scholarship came in.
"Scholarships like these from the Westland Foundation definitely help, and it has definitely helped me."
With the scholarship, Neault was able to work less than she thought, letting her focus more on learning.
The student says receiving the scholarship not only eased her financial burden but also showed her someone cared about her.
"It also inspires me to continue on this path. It also helps other students as well, just believing that it is possible for them to pursue their career which some do not think it is possible simply because they cannot afford it."
To thank Westland, Neault has been working with them to create videos and other media to show people how big of an impact the scholarship has on people who have dreams, but are unsure if they can afford them.
"They have helped me grow in many ways, especially with helping other people see the importance of scholarships like these."
Because she is still working two jobs, Neault says she will be graduating in seven years instead of the expected five.
"I definitely see the benefit of expending my years. I get to experience new things, have more time in school and learn as much as I can while providing for myself and my education."
Once she is finished school, Neault will be teaching younger years students.
"I just want to give them the idea that anything is possible, whether that is being an astronaut which I know people are going to do that as well, or being a carpenter. Anything they want to do can be possible."
She says she is looking forward to not just teaching children math or writing, but also how to socialize and help others in their communities.
To raise funds for the foundation, Westland's founder and President John Prystanski and Walter Silicz, a Westland director and donor are donating a dollar from every video share, up to $10,000.
"We need you to share this video because if we want to see a better Winnipeg, we need your help. We need to give all inner-Winnipeg students a chance at post-secondary education," Prystanski says in a statement.
In the video, Economic Development Winnipeg's President and CEO Dayna Spiring talks about the importance of reminding young people that they can build and achieve their dreams in Winnipeg.
In 2019, 205 inner-Winnipeg students were awarded over $89,000 in scholarships. Since 2009, over $610,000 have been awarded to 1,120 students.