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Heaslip Scholarships - Alejandra Ceballos Vasquez

September 10, 2010

Alejandra Ceballos Vasquez thought she would have to abandon her education to be a good mother.

“I knew coming back to school was a great decision, but it was conflicting with what I love the most, my family,” says Columbia-native, Alejandra, who came to Canada with her husband and first son in 2001. After having another son, she completed her OAC courses and was accepted into Western, while continuing to work to help support her family.

“I had been working night shifts, but it was hard for my two children and my husband because we had very little time to spend as a family. It was very hard on me because I felt guilty and selfish.”

Then Alejandra found out she was selected for a $15,000 Heaslip Scholarship. Awarded to full-time undergraduate students entering second year of any four-year degree program, it is based on academic achievement and financial need. These scholarships will continue up to three years, provided that the recipients maintain a full course load and a 70 per cent average, and demonstrate financial need each year. These scholarships are made possible by Nona Heaslip and the late William Heaslip.

Alejandra thought there was a mistake at first. Once she got over the shock, sherealized because of the significant scholarship, she could quit her job whilecontinuing to pursue her university education.

“Thanks to this scholarship, I am going to be able to finally finish my studies and Iwill be able to provide a better future for my children,” says Alejandra. “I can’t waitfor the day I can give back to society what I have been given - hope. I have beenshown that dreams come true.”

“Now, I can stay for my kids’ soccer practices and games, we can have dinnertogether, I can read to them before they go to bed, the list goes on and on. It hasallowed us to enjoy family time again.”

Alejandra plans to finish her Honours Specialization in Conservation Biology,then either pursue Veterinary school or a Masters in Animal Welfare and Behaviour.


This article appeared in the 2010 edition of Student Awards Recipient Report
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