Rosa Brooks, 2015 Scholarship Recipient
Rosa Brooks, who’s in her fourth year of the Bachelor of Nursing degree program at Humber College / University of New Brunswick, received a Bill 7 Award Scholarship in 2015.
Being honoured with a Bill 7 Award meant a lot to you. Can you tell us a little about that?
I had the privilege of being the first child of LGBTQ parents to win the scholarship in 2015. In addition, receiving the Bill 7 Award was the first time I was recognized for my work with LGBTQ families.
What impact has the scholarship had on your life?
Not only did the Bill 7 Award help me pay tuition fees, receiving the scholarship affirmed the work that I do within the community and the importance of continuing to pursue this work in my upcoming career. It was also an honour to be awarded the Bill 7 scholarship the same year my high school teacher Jeffrey White was the keynote speaker. I feel very honoured to be part of a movement that has been supporting LGBTQ individuals in their educational endeavours – since 1987.
Could you tell us about your other community involvement?
I regularly participate in panel discussions and presentations that allow me to speak to LGBTQ parents-to-be. I strive to increase the visibility of LGBTQ families and their children. My goal is to help increase space for children and youth, especially youth from LGBTQ families. I aspire to see children of LGBTQ parents integrated and recognized among the LGBTQ community as more than just allies.
Why do you feel LGBTQ-specific scholarships like the Bill 7 Award are significant?
Awards like the Bill 7 Scholarship help affirm and acknowledge the work that we recipients work towards, while also supporting our educational aspirations. Finances can be and are such a hurdle to overcome when attending educational institutions. Any and all help means the world to students like me.
Do you have a particularly memorable Bill 7 moment to share?
I received my award at the end of a challenging day after I wrote two long exams. I was exhausted – mentally and physically – and worried about getting to the ceremony on time. I was so nervous about speaking to the crowd. Having my family, partner, past teacher and mentor present gave me the courage and strength I needed to get up and speak. It was an amazing feeling to share my story with so many people who actually cared about what I was saying and were there to celebrate me – and the other recipients.
Do you have any advice for other LGBTQ youth who are also pursuing a post-secondary education?
Keep fighting and pursuing your aspirations. Do not listen to what everyone says about how hard a course or an exam is or will be. Take each step in your own way and just focus on your strengths.
What would you like to say to potential donors of the Bill 7 Trust?
When you make a donation to the Bill 7 Trust you are showing leadership in caring and believing in the youth of our community who so often have to fight unnecessary battles. You affirm us and our dreams.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to remember this experience and reflect on the importance the scholarship has had on my life through the 30 X 30 campaign.