In Pursuit of a Dream

Charmaine Holland with friends playing Rummy

Charmaine Holland wants to make a difference in the world.   The 19 year old’s lifelong dream is to become a geriatric doctor. 

Her desire to make a positive contribution to the elderly was evident even in high school when she started an organization in the Niagara Region called, “Wise Souls, Young Spirits".  The program connects youth with seniors at a local retirement home. 

“I’m passionate about making life a little bit better for them,” said Charmaine.  “Being raised with the assistance of my grandmother, I have grown up with an appreciation and enjoyment for the elderly.  Their smiles never cease to give me joy.”

She added, "I just enjoy brightening their day because I know maybe not a lot of attention is put on them. I just want to make a difference in that area.”

In 2015, Charmaine was one of six students across Canada, who received a $2,500 bursary from the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation's Learning Matters Education Charity.  She is currently completing her first year in the Health Sciences program at McMaster University.

Charmaine  on campus at McMaster University.

“It really helped me financially.  It was such a blessing to receive the bursary and every bit counts,” said Charmaine.

The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation provides bursaries through its Learning Matters Education Charity, which provides financial assistance to Canadian children who would not otherwise have the financial means to obtain a post-secondary education. 

Bursaries are made available to Canadian undergraduate post-secondary students who intend to make a positive contribution to Canadian society and who have a demonstrated financial need.

Charmaine on balancing class deadlines as a first year student,"If you plan ahead,you can manage."

“I’m honoured to have received the bursary,“ Charmaine added, “it actually allows me to put my focus more on school and I’m really grateful for that.”

Kind words from Charmaine, "I'm greatly appreciative and hope that one day I will be able to pay it forward once I am established in my career as a geriatric physician."

Charmaine's future plans include medical school and helping those in her hometown.  

"I am very excited to continue my educational pathway!  I will then be able to give back to my community, as there is much need for geriatric care in the Niagara Region."

"I want to thank CST for everything that they've done," said Charmaine.  "It really makes a difference in the lives of students."