I just graduated this month (April 2016) with a degree in Actuarial & Financial Mathematics from McMaster University. Isn’t that exciting? Yes, it is! At least to me. A few years back, holding a university degree was just but a dream for me. And now it is a reality. That is why I decided to write this thank you note to the organizations that made it possible for me to get to this point.
I hereby express my heartfelt gratitude to World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and Windle Trust Kenya (WTK) for the rare chance that was granted to me to pursue higher education at McMaster University. The two organizations, their benefactors, their partners and many individuals who work either as their employees or volunteers have made many dreams possible. Mine just happens to be one of these many dreams and I am very thankful for that. This note would be incomplete without thanking McMaster University and its Student Refugee Program (SRP), who ensured that I transitioned into the university life and a new life in Canada with minimal difficulties. I salute the young women and men, who generously volunteered their time, effort, and intellect at the McMaster University Local Committee. In spite of the highly demanding academic commitments that they had, they still made it their responsibility to ensure that the sponsored students were alright as they settle into the university life. In addition, there are thousands of students who contributed to support the sponsored students financially. I may never know many of them, but their generosity is eternally appreciated.
I happened to stumble upon the story of Dr. Hugh A. Pilkington, who made a huge personal and selfless effort so that disadvantaged youth could have access to education. I must say that it is one touching story, given how he tragically died while trying to follow what he strongly believed in. It is great that his name lives on through Windle Trust Kenya (WTK), and all the other Windle Trust offices in different parts of the world.
The idea that education changes societies for the better is not something abstract but a reality of our world and having organizations such as WUSC, Windle Trust and their partners, whose activities revolve around this idea is not something to be taken for granted. What they do goes a long way and I, as a recent graduate from McMaster University, stand as a testament to that. I say, once again, Thank you!
And keep on changing the world, one disadvantaged youth at a time.
John C. Kon, WUSC sponsored student (2010/2011 group)