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The Parents' Fund helps mom reach for her dreams

September 23, 2010

Nicole Gallant always knew she would go back to school after starting a family.

For several years, the 37-year-old chose to focus on her family before coming to Western in 2007 to pursue a degree. The mother-of-three from London will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in spring 2011. Nicole says her Western experience has been scary, wonderful, stressful and rewarding. She knows The Parents’ Fund Award has made a difference in her life and in the lives of her children.

“I have three children who are involved in extracurricular activities which generate demands on our budget,” says Nicole. “I do not want my schooling costs to eliminate their extracurricular experiences and we choose carefully. So I have been able to use the award to keep me in school, while we manage to pay for our kids to stay involved.”

Parents of Western students have donated more than $4 million to The Parents’ Fund since 1990. Awards are given to students in second, third or fourth year who have achieved a minimum 75% average in the previous year while demonstrating leadership in the community and participating in extracurricular activities.

Throughout the years, The Parents’ Fund has supported student scholarships, needs-based bursaries, computer equipment, labs and library enhancements. In the 2009/10 academic year, The Parents’ Fund helped provide 35 students with scholarships and financial needs-based bursaries.

Nicole has found it difficult to balance school and taking care of her children alone for several months of the year while her husband, Trevor, plays hockey overseas. She notes Trevor can’t play hockey forever and they will both have to work when he retires from the sport.

Receiving The Parents’ Fund Award has not only been financially helpful to Nicole but it gave her a feeling of accomplishment and keeps her striving toward her ultimate goal of becoming a labour and delivery nurse. She adds that her children have a better appreciation for working hard to achieve your dreams.

“I am not sure how she does it,” says her 13-year-old son, Tristan. “My dad is away for the whole school year and she does it all by herself. I think she has done really well in school and has made me work harder myself in my own school work.”

Nicole knows how difficult it can be for parents to financially support their children’s schooling and then on top of that be asked to donate to the University, but she says any amount of money that is given to The Parents’ Fund will make a difference for many Western students, for many years to come.

To make a gift to The Parents’ Fund, visit

This article appeared in the 2010 edition of Western's Parent Connection
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