Heather's Nursing School Fund

I had the pleasure of meeting Heather T-K last September in our first semester of the practical nursing program at Sir Sandford Fleming College. When we met we were instantly good friends and Heather has helped me through a great deal over the course of the program. It is not only Heather’s big heart and how she helps many people become the best versions of themselves that makes her a deserving student, but it also how she has overcome personal difficulties many times just to be here. Throughout it all Heather has shown a tremendous ability to be a wonderful nurse and an unyielding desire to make her dreams of being a pediactric nurse come true.

                Through many hours spent studying with Heather I have come to know that it took a lot for her to decide to finally come to school as a mature student. The main reason however, was that Heather knew her dream was to be paediatric nurse. She worked long hours to try to build the funds to help pay for tuition and needed the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)  to cover the rest in order to reach her dream. I know Heather works when she can as a personal support worker but being in a highly demanding program, studying and projects often take precedence.

                The program itself has not been easy for Heather, she had to go through an extra semester of school after she did not pass her first semester math class by less than 5%. While taking the math course through the winter months, she pushed even harder, studied even more and passed the course with a 95% average, even tutoring other students as well. Many students who faced the same issue of not passing the class, chose not to fight and did not come back to school, however Heather did everything she could to ensure her continuation, even when personal tragedy struck.

                Over the course of the last year, Heather has many bumps and blocks on her road to becoming a nurse. She is far from her family in order to get her education here, her wife has had to change jobs to help support her education, she has had many close friend pass away or fall ill, and a tree even fell on her car (luckily while no one was inside!). This just names a few problems that Heather has had to deal with while trying to do her best in school. The one thing that stays the same, is Heather’s determination and desire to succeed in her future. 

                I believe it is imperative that Heather is able to finish the nursing program. She is everything a nurse should be; caring, compassionate, knowledgeable, respectful, she continually demonstrates all necessary standards set out by the College of Nurses of Ontario and continues to broaden her education whenever possible. For myself, I always think of when I may be in need of assistance from a nurse and what I would want and expect from that nurse - I imagine someone like Heather. She truly cares for her patients and has a quality that cannot be learnt. She has the desire to honestly improve people’s days, their health if she can, and their quality of care.   

Unfortunately, OSAP has restricted her fundings for the upcoming semester because what she estimated she would earn over the semester and what she did earn, were different totals. This only happened because she estimated for the worst- that she would not be able to work at all and that her wife was working less than she has been. Due to Heather's insane organization skills and desire to help people, she found a way to work as a personal support for a family and her wife has been taking extra shifts as well so Heather is not struggling. This issue with OSAP will mean her funding is restricted, meaning she will not have the money to return to school next semester. The little bit of money she did earn as a personal support was put towards paying her bills, gas money to get to school as she lives an hour away, and to pay down her other debts.
                If OSAP restricts her assistance, Heather will be severely thrown off course, but I seriously doubt it will stop her. She has shown such resilience and strength through everything, a stop in her funding for school would be a hard hit but not the end. Having said that, in her financial position, it would probably take years for Heather to have the ability to return to school, and because of the time in between she would probably have to redo her first year.

As her friend, I need to graduate with the person who has shown me how to be the best version of myself. She deserves, more than any other student I know, to gradute on time- and not have something like a mix up in fundings halt that. She has put more time and effort, going above and beyond all professors' expectation to be an amazing nurse.

If at all possible, we would truly appreciate any help we can get. Of course we understand financial sttruggle, so if you cannot contribute at all, we simply ask that you share Heather's story. We are hoping to raise at least $3800 by January to pay for tuition, but raising our goal of $5000 would mean Heather has enough for her books and gas to get too and from her school/placement at the hospital.  We know it is getting close to the holidays, but in the spirit of giving, you are not just funding someone's education, you are investing in a future nurse.
Again, thank you for your time, for sharing Heather's story and for any contribution you make.
  • Alice Kalun 
    • $30 
    • 47 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 48 mos
  • Paul Z 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • Erica Hardern 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • Melinda Barnes 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Tiffany McDougall 
Peterborough, ON
Heather Thiessen-Kerr 
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