I am very honoured to receive the TD Scholarship for Easter Seals Youth. Being with Easter Seals was truly a blessing to me, and I wouldn’t be the same without them. You see, as a teenager with a disability, I faced a lot of physical and mental struggles. And, at a point in my life, I thought my disability would be the cause of my downfall and prevent me from reaching success.
I felt really hopeless and I began watching inspirational videos to cheer me up. I learned one very important lesson from those videos and that is to be thankful. It was hard for me to be thankful with my disability, but fortunately, Easter Seals was able to help me. After attending their family camp and then Camp Merrywood by myself, I realized that I have so much to be thankful for. Here is a good way to put it, let’s just say without my disability I was able to do 1,000 tasks alright. With my disability, I can’t run or jump, so that crosses 2 things off the list. I can still do 998 tasks and Easter Seals helped me learn to appreciate that.
With that positive mindset, I began to strive for success and never let my disability drag me down. I began to volunteer, play adaptive sports, study harder and take more opportunities to reach out into my local community.
One accomplishment was being able to participate in the Canada-wide summer enrichment program called SHAD. Now it’s time for me to graduate high school, but I will keep on learning and trying new things at the University of Waterloo, where I will pursue a Math degree possibly majoring in Data Science. I then hope to work at Google, TD, or at another tech-related job so one day I can donate money to Easter Seals to help others like me!
-Leon, Easter Seals youth and
2018 TD Scholarship recipient