Humbled by Gratitude

Months later I still well up as I read her letter of gratitude to me.

How to make this not about me?? As background, I provide an annual scholarship to a 2nd year business student at my University, Wilfrid Laurier University.  The only criterion is that the applicants provide a short essay showing their motivation and goals for their life.  From that a panel at the school chooses the recipient.

Each year I am amazed at what these students write. This year’s recipient is a foreign student from China who came to Canada for her University education and a better life. She intends to make Canada her home. She was fearful because of language difference, different school system, different culture and still feeling lonely as she was in Canada with no friends or family. She is doing a dual degree – Honours Business and Math (high achiever?). In her first year she achieved high marks. She has a part-time to to “feed herself” as she wrote, and volunteers at a Seniors’ day centre to “help the community and get involved in local society.”  Wow, I think she is more than a worthy recipient!!

Luckily I’ve gotten an update from her in the form of a thank you letter (where does she find the time I wonder?). She continues to excel at her studies achieving a high grade point average and finds her double degree challenging. She continues to work part-time and volunteer. She just secured a coop job (like an internship for work experience as part of her school programme). She likes Canada so much she has encouraged her boyfriend in China to join her in Canada (they’ve been apart two years).

In my opinion the scholarship is not a big amount of money however, she profusely thanked me as she would have had to work 200 hours to earn as much in her part-time job. She’s a great reminder for me of when I find life hard, think of her, I have it easy.

I feel grateful I could help her in a small way and support her in having a positive impact in her new home.

What are you grateful for?