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Sobey bursary helps young mother

A woman in a jean jacket, light pink shirt and flowery bottoms looks out a window to the left of the image. She is holding a black book to her stomach and smiling. Bookshelves can be seen in the background.
Chrissy Clayton, Donald R. Sobey Bursary recipient, Heavy Duty Equipment / Truck & Transport Repair, Akerley Campus, Class of 2020.

Chrissy Clayton faced many obstacles on her educational journey.

She grew up in a single-parent family with four siblings. She left high school after becoming a mother at age 15. She came to NSCC’s Adult Learning Program and, en route to obtaining her high-school diploma, discovered she had a learning disability.

However, she persevered. What’s more, thanks in part to the Donald R. Sobey Bursary Program, Chrissy is now a full-time student in the Heavy Duty Equipment / Truck & Transport Repair program at Akerley Campus.

“I had kids really early, and I worked jobs that I didn’t really like,” says the mother of two, ages 12 and 8. “I wanted to do more, and I wanted to show my kids that education is important.”

When I received the bursary, I realized I could do this — that everything would work out. I look forward to a bright future ahead, thanks to the Donald R. Sobey Bursary Program.

Chrissy Clayton

Women Unlimited

Interested in pursuing a career in the trades and technology industry, Chrissy applied to Women Unlimited’s Career Exploration Program. The free, 14-week program allowed her to explore possible career options while also earning certifications and other essential skills.

“The experience was life-changing,” says Chrissy. “Not only did I learn more about trades in general and my chosen trade specifically, but I learned a lot about myself and made friends.”

But her path to a career was far from certain. Finances were a major concern. That’s when Women Unlimited staff told Chrissy about the Donald R. Sobey Bursary Program. A unique financial-aid program at NSCC, it was established through a $4-million gift from the Donald R. Sobey Foundation to Make Way -- The Campaign for NSCC — the College’s first-ever province-wide fundraising initiative.

Donald R. Sobey Bursary Program

The $2,500 renewable bursary is designed to open doors to education by assisting students financially during their time at the College. To be eligible, applicants must be referred by a community organization or law-enforcement agency. Women Unlimited gladly referred Chrissy.

“When I received the bursary, I realized I could do this — that everything would work out,” says Chrissy, adding it has been a huge help.

“One of the main things you worry about is being able to fund everything – how you’re going to afford it. So, to have these bursaries is awesome,” she says.

Since its inception less than a year ago, the program has already helped more than 70 students facing barriers to education at NSCC campuses around the province.

“This program will give me the ability to provide for my children and ensure they have all of the opportunities possible. Hopefully, down the road, I can buy a house. I just want to love my job and love my life.”

She adds, “I look forward to a bright future ahead, thanks to the Donald R. Sobey Bursary Program.”

Fast Fact

The Donald R. Sobey Foundation’s gift of $4 million provides up to 100 bursaries – valued at $2,500 each – annually at NSCC campuses across Nova Scotia, in perpetuity.

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