Announcing the 2021 Winner of DCCI Scholarship for Canadian Students with Disabilities
Disability Credit Canada, knows that education is a critical step in opening the doors of opportunity. Yet for the millions of Canadians living with a disability, pursuing a post-secondary education can come with increased challenges. We recognize just how difficult the education system can be, and so we want to provide Canadian Students with disabilities every opportunity to to go forth and pursue their academic journeys. That’s why, in 2020 we launched our Disability Credit Canada Scholarship, providing $1,000 to one high school senior student looking to pursue a post-secondary education at an established Canadian Institution, to assist them in their scholastic success. We also offer guides for the Disability Tax Credit & the Child Disability Tax Credit and various other informational resources to help parents of these students by easing their financial burden.
2021 Winner of DCCI Scholarship for Canadian Students with Disabilities
This year, we are proud to announce Megan Cote as our 2021 recipient of this scholarship for Canadian Students with Disabilities. Megan is a high school senior from British Columbia, pursuing a post-secondary education to help others through their struggles to live better lives.
MEGAN COTE, PROSTHETICS AND ORTHOTICS FIRST YEAR STUDENT AT DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY.
Megan suffers from constant pain throughout her entire body as a result of her fibromyalgia. Yet despite the difficulties of her disability, she has fought against the urge to give up and gain back her independence and confidence with the help and kindness of others. So that she may start her journey towards becoming a prosthetist, where she can do for others, what others have done for her and provide some respite for those people during their hardship.
We spoke with Megan, to hear more about her incredible story, and how she has navigated the ups and downs of her life coping with fibromyalgia! In addition, what her plans are for, what we know will be a bright and gratifying future. Here is what she had to say:
1) How did you hear about our Scholarship?
While searching the internet for scholarships that were specific to me, I came across the Disability Credit Canada 2021 Scholarship. I chose to apply because I will be unable to work much in order to pay for my schooling and will need all the help I can get.
2) Please tell us about your impairments and some of the challenges you face because of them.
I have been diagnosed with Chronic benign joint hyper-mobility syndrome and chronic widespread pain syndrome. This means that normal activities can cause me to be in pain. I was working before my symptoms became too severe for me to continue and I am struggling to find work I can physically manage. I have been learning how to avoid causing my symptoms by avoiding certain activities and I have had to learn different ways of getting things done. I recently learned that my body can not maintain or regulate a temperature and while outside with some friends I had the symptoms of heatstroke and nearly passed out, however, my temperature was below average. I am still learning my limits but I do not give up doing what I struggle to do, I just find a different way to get it done.
3) What will you study at school and what are your long-term career goals?
I am very interested in prosthetics and orthotics. I plan on going to Dalhousie University to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. This four-year program will lay the groundwork for my entry into BCIT. During my time at BCIT, I will take part in the two-year prosthetics and orthotics course offered there. While exploring the BCIT website I read about previous students’ experiences and look forward to learning how to build and design prosthetics. At the end of my stay at BCIT, I will take part in a two-year paid residency. From here I will be ready to go out and start my journey in orthotics and prosthetics.
4) How does having this impairment make pursuing a post-secondary education more challenging? Please tell us about the unique challenges you may be facing.
My impairments make it difficult to do repetitive motions or do strenuous activities. Note taking and being on my feet for long periods of time are very difficult, however, I have found ways of abbreviating my writing and I have become much better at communicating what I need to my teachers. Because my symptoms can be triggered by pressure changes, I have missed more school than I would like, and I have had to get a wheelchair and cane in order to get around on bad days. I have made arrangements with my university so that when I do miss school, I can get notes and instructions online.
5) How does it feel to have been the recipient of this award?
I have been so worried about how I am going to pay for my schooling if I am unable to work as much as I had hoped to. Receiving this award has helped me to relax a little and realize that I am able to write essays worthy of winning an award, this has given me the confidence to write more. I am so thankful I have been chosen for this award.
6) How will this scholarship help you, moving forward?
This scholarship will help me buy my textbooks for the first semester of school. It will also help pay for my first tuition deposit which is due soon. Not only has this scholarship helped me pay for my schooling, it has also given me new confidence in my writing ability.
7) Is there a message you’d like to convey to future applicants?
I know being different is hard and that sometimes it seems like you cannot succeed when so much is against you. However, being different doesn’t mean you cannot do what others can, it means you have to find a new way of doing it. You can’t give up on what you want to do because of your physical or mental differences, you have to learn from these experiences and push yourself harder to meet your goals despite your challenges. You can do it.
We at Disability Credit Canada fully believe that Megan, with her formidable, optimistic and effortless kindness is heading for a bright and gratifying future!
We would like to thank everyone who applied for our scholarship for the upcoming 2021 academic year, and are wishing all those students and learners pursuing a post-secondary education in the fall a safe, positive and productive educational year ahead.