First Joel got one. Then Ryan got one. Then … silence.
“I had worked so hard to keep my grades up, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed that I hadn’t won one of those big renewable scholarships like my classmates,” says Ally Wilson, who – you guessed it – had won one all along. “So, when I learned after the fact that I had actually been successful, it was huge. I live with my mom and she works two jobs to support us, so it was a great moment. Everyone is so proud.”
An animal-whisperer at heart – she loves horseback riding and sees veterinary medicine in her future – Ally is studying sciences with a focus on marine biology and chemistry for now. And while some of her classes are much bigger than what she’s used to, she enjoys the labs that come with the courses because they’re great for that small-group interaction. “Everyone has been so nice and welcoming,” says Ally. “I’m really enjoying the university experience.”
The biggest adjustment, Ally says, is getting used to city life. “I’ve lived in the same house in Milton for 18 years, so coming to the big city of Halifax has taken some getting used to. I have a love/hate relationship with residence and Risley Hall. It’s been nice to have my own space and easy access to all the facilities, though. It allows me to feel independent, even though I’m only an hour and a half from home.”
Winning the scholarship has made the difference between getting a Dal education – or not. “I’ve always wanted to go to Dalhousie because it’s such a prestigious school and has such a great research reputation,” says Ally. “Receiving this financial support means I can get that Dal education that really opens doors. Without the donation, I wouldn’t have this lifestyle or these opportunities. It means everything to me.”