RAYS mentors, volunteers offer support

 In Letters, Opinion

The brilliant young minds in our community continually prove that it takes a village to raise a child. After four years as a scholarship recipient with RAYS, (Resources for Area Youth Success), I believe it also takes a community to support a post-secondary student!
I am writing to share my experiences with hopes that I can encourage young members of the Creemore and surrounding communities to consider applying to their post-secondary programs.
I feel so lucky to have been supported by RAYS  through the duration of my undergraduate degree. I have certainly changed over this period of time, growing through my setbacks, while celebrating academic and personal successes.
Post-secondary presents a time of unknown, self-discovery and adventure; the volunteers and mentors at RAYS have been a consistent support system, willing to understand my chosen path, listen to my ideas and celebrate any aspect of my personal development. 
Their support has alleviated components of financial stress during my university career, allowing me free time to volunteer, to get involved in community work and to develop career networks. RAYS members have continually encouraged my pursuit of traditional and non-traditional learning, which have greatly strengthened my sense of community, direction and self. I am confident that engaging in these opportunities would be much more difficult without the financial and social support provided to me. 
I will cherish the relationships, knowledge, sense of community and passion that RAYS has instilled in me as I move beyond my undergraduate degree and take my next steps to achieve my academic, personal and career goals. One day, I hope to give back to young students just as I have been supported, ensuring that post-secondary education is unconditionally accessible and encouraging a consensus of community care in all that we do. 
In the meantime, I can encourage any young person in Clearview considering a post-secondary education to apply to the RAYS  scholarship or bursary programs. You won’t regret it! 
Rosalyn Martin,
4th year Political Studies and Gender Studies, Queen’s University.

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