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Two AEBC Scholarships and one T-Base Communications Scholarship awarded during the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) AGM weekend (April 28-30, 2017)

An anonymous donor gave AEBC an additional two thousand dollars to provide two one thousand dollar scholarships to two worthy students and we selected Sean Heaslip and Anu Pala.

Sean Heaslip

Sean Heaslip is a 36 year old doctoral student pursuing a PhD in Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia Vancouver.

Sean writing about his academic journey says”Academically I have achieved beyond my wildest dreams, as there was a time where I felt my vision precluded me from succeeding in post-secondary studies. I am a full time student, attending lectures, and conducting therapy at our doctoral training clinic. My hope is to effect positive change through my research into the experiences of persons with VI, and through my clinical work, as I hope to one day open a non-profit that provides counselling to people with disabilities.”

Sean works part time for Blind Beginnings as well as for BCSMSSA, a non-profit that provides reduced rate counselling services to male survivors of sexual abuse. Sean completed his practicum training for his Master’s degree at this clinic, and was hired on after graduation. Sean also facilitates support groups there, as well as for survivors of childhood cancer.

Sean also began volunteering for the non-profit Blind Beginnings, which provides much needed programming for blind youth and their families. Sean would go on to co-facilitate parent’s support groups there, and now works part time as the program director, where he is involved in all their programs including youth support groups, leadership training, summer camps, and community outings, to name a few.

Sean’s thesis work and future dissertation research targets the mental health issues of persons with visual impairments; sean describes as “my attempt to give us a voice in a sector where we are under-represented.”

Anu Pala

Anu is presently attending Royal Roads University pursuing a BA in Professional Communications

Anu describes her career goal as “I would like to use this degree to further enhance my career in the area of vision loss rehabilitation as well as utilize my skills towards empowering individuals with vision loss through media.”

Anu adds “I have gained a lot of satisfaction from working on projects that directly impact people to improve their quality of life and have enjoyed contributing to projects that I am passionate about. I have volunteered on various boards and committees to support initiatives such as planning annual events to support women’s programs, cultural events, and initiatives that support accessibility and inclusion. A few key initiatives that I am particularly proud of include my work with Blind Beginnings. This provincial non-profit organization offers programs and services to blind children and their families. I organized their first annual gala fund raiser where we welcomed 350 guests and raised approximately $20,000 in cash and nominal donations. My many years of work with Shakti Society, an organization that aims to empower children, youth, and adults, has enabled me to expand my skills in event and media relations as well as support vulnerable populations. No matter what stage of life I am in, I will always ensure that I incorporate some form of volunteerism throughout my life.”

T-Base Communications Scholarship

T-Base Communications, a partner in the AEBC Scholarship program for its sixth year, selected Keisha Anderson to receive the T-Base $2,000 Scholarship for 2017-2018.

Keisha is a grade 12 student at Merritt Secondary School.

Keisha’s plans following graduation are to attend post-secondary studies at Thompson Rivers University where she will take the Bachelor of Arts program, and go on to get her teacher education degree, so she can become a high school teacher in either English, or Biology. Keisha writes:

“Throughout my life I have known many great role-models and leaders. I have had the opportunity to mentor younger people, and I enjoy helping people, and being a Leader. Teachers are people that do all of these things, and contribute to society in a huge way, so for these reasons, teaching is a career I would like to pursue. I love to learn, and am very aware of the importance of education in life.”

Disclaimer:

This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.
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