A Young Jamaican Dream

My name is Courtney B. Harris, I was born in Jamaica but now lives in Canada. I attended St. George's College in Kingston, Jamaica where I excelled academically, and I continue to live the school motto 'Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - For the Greater Glory of God'. After St. George's I attended Louise Arbour Secondary in Ontario, Canada and my life was enriched with more knowledge at that prestigious institution with many caring professionals and mentors. I am currently a student in Life Sciences at McMaster University (MAC) on the path of fulfilling my dream of becoming a medical doctor. It has been my dream to attend MAC, but I applied with reservation, doubting that I would actually get in- I even chuckled as I pressed, SUBMIT for the university application. It seemed unrealistic as I never thought that I was capable of being part of such a community. But the opportunity comes from reaching into the unknown. I lead my life with this quote, “The sky is not the limit, it is just the beginning.”


My mom lost her job after working for 25 years in the same organization. This had a domino effect- unexpected challenges and a continuous burden on my mom, a single mom with three children, led to her expending her life savings to come to Canada on a study permit. This sacrifice was made to enable me to accomplish my dream. However, the unforeseeable happened, and rather than acquiring domestic status for the school. I have entered school as an international student, more than doubling the school fees.  


The hurdle that I am now facing is the tuition to attend university. The overall cost of MAC tuition is 34,091.19 CAD per year for 4 years. I have applied to various scholarships, but I have not been successful in getting any help from these sponsoring bodies. I am still hoping to get some financial aid at MAC. At the moment, all we have is my personal savings from landscaping work done during the summer, the contribution from a couple of community members, and what my mom has been able to save, bearing in mind that she has three children to feed and take care of. I wanted to defer my acceptance as it never made sense to start university and not be able to fund it. But my mother said to me,

 “It might seem impossible now, but the setbacks will make sense.” Those words reached the depths of my soul and from then I mustered up the courage to accept and attend university, even though the odds are against me. I have begun, but I don’t know...



Your contribution will greatly help me to fulfil my dream, and I promise that I “PAY IT FORWARD! Many thanks for your kindness and time to hear my story. Stay Safe and Healthy!


All the best,

  • Katrina Xavier 
    • $100 
    • 9 mos
  • Neo Porter 
    • $90 
    • 10 mos
  • Sonia Yung 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
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See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Courtney Harris 
Mississauga, ON
Norda Lewis-Harris 
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