Last fall, when he needed a break from studying, Steven Kelly took to the field with other Western students for Monday night slo-pitch – an intramural league organized by campus recreation.
“We played every week and even when it was almost winter and nearly freezing outside, we still went out in our T-shirts and played,” says Steven. “That time on the field was a way to forget about our workload for a while and get some exercise.”
That community feel of being-in-it-together drew Steven to Western in the first place. He could have attended a university closer to his home near Hamilton, but he chose to come to London.
“There’s something about Western,” says The Parents’ Fund Award recipient. “The atmosphere is incredible and the school spirit is amazing … it feels like a smaller campus even though there are more than 30,000 students.”
Steven experienced that community feeling throughout his four years as a kinesiology and rehabilitation sciences student (he graduated with a BHSc in June 2014). Prior to his first year, he attended Summer Academic Orientation, where he received helpful advice on course selection, student services and support programs.
“Every step of the way, I had people who guided me through the process,” says Steven. “In my second, third and fourth years, I took what I was given and learned to be my own person … I matured a lot. Now, I’m taking away a lot of knowledge and experiences that are preparing me for the future.”
Steven plans to pursue a career as a medical professional – possibly a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or chiropractor. “I’m really interested in helping people get back to moving,” he adds, “and returning to a good range of motion and strength.”
His own education was strengthened through the support he received from The Parents’ Fund. “When I learned about my scholarship I felt immense gratitude. It boosted my confidence and taught me that hard work does pay off,” says Steven. “Out of their own goodwill, parents are giving so that students like me can receive an education,” adds the 23-year-old. “That’s really motivational, knowing that others want to help. They see the efforts of students and are standing behind us. That pushes us to try our hardest – and do our best.”
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