Help send Ben to university!

$45,823 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 432 people in 19 months
Created July 12, 2017
Susan Burhoe
on behalf of Benjamin Williamson
Benjamin Williamson is an intelligent, driven and resilient young man who needs support to attend university. Ben has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair. He has also been homeless for a year, and has struggled to find accessible housing and support for his education. Ben’s dream is to become a lawyer and work as an advocate for those with disabilities. He has already started this work as an appointee to the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities.

As the Program Coordinator for a pathway to university program at Carleton University, I’ve created this page to make sure Ben has the support he needs. Our admissions committee saw so much promise in Ben’s application. We believe in his potential to succeed at university, and we’d hate to see him miss out on this opportunity due to a lack of funds. Ben has experienced so many barriers in his life – I’m hoping the community can offer support to this gifted young man.

See more about Ben’s story in this CityTV news story .

Even the smallest donation can help Ben realize his dream. Consider donating or sharing this page to make it happen.
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Hello everyone, I wanted to post and update and a thanks! Ben successfully completed his first year, earned an A- average and qualified for his degree.

Here’s an update from Ben (see below) and a note from him on why he's started a separate gofundme page for other issues he's dealing with. I've kept this page up for his educational fund, Ben's new page can be found at the bottom of his message, below. Thanks again for your support!

“I wanted to take this opportunity to update everyone who took the time to share or donate to the go fund me page that helped send me to university. without your support I would have not been able to pursue my dream of getting a university education. As a direct result of your financial support I have been able to complete my first year of post secondary education. I am absolutely delighted to inform you that I finished the school year off with a 10.8 GPA. Carleton uses a 12.0 grading scale so in comparison this would be somewhere between an A and A-. I am particularly proud of this accomplishment when you consider the fact that I spent 10 weeks of the school year in a hospital due to a significant chronic pain crisis directly linked to my cerebral palsy. I am excited to announce that I have been accepted into Carleton university bachelors honours in Law with a minor in disability studies. With the money that was raised this year I was able to cover my schooling and living expenses, cover most of my medical expenses and pay for the training of a dog that would become my service dog that will allow me to become more independent as a person with a disability. This has been one of my life long dreams and it would not have been possible without the generosity of the people who donated.

Unfortunately however my struggle is not over I have limited financial resources to continue my education, my wheelchair needs new seating at the minimum the government will cover 75% but that still leaves me with a bill totaling over $2000. The chair is right now causing me physical pain when seating and is not in the best shape mechanically. The government will not replace for another 3 years approximately so I can either temporarily fix the seating now ones I get the money or I can wait and replace the entire chair in a few years. I know something has to be done soon as this chair is only exacerbating my chronic pain problem. However I simply cannot afford this.

My situation sadly gets more complicated. As you know, In February 2017, I was forced to leave a toxic home environment. As a result, I lived in a homeless shelter in York region (360 Kids). With the help of the previous GoFundMe campaign, support from David Onley, Carleton University and my Program Coordinator, Susan Burhoe, I was able to accomplish my dream of going to university.

Unfortunately, the rift between me and my parents led to a legal case that is currently before the court. This case deals specifically with my continued need for financial support from my parents.

Initially, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) agreed to cover the cost of my legal expenses. However, when Legal Aid found out about the funds raised for my education, they found me ineligible for continuing service. While I graciously appreciate the support I received for my education, all those funds were needed and were used for my educational, living and medical expenses. I now face proceeding in a lawsuit without proper legal representation as I cannot afford legal fees. The continued support from my parents is vital to my continuing health coverage and living expenses.

A new gofundme campaign as been started by me to ensure that I able to secure the necessary legal representation to a successful conclusion while still protecting my legal rights. The new gofundme page has an initial goal of $50,000 any money that is not utilized for my legal fight would be then put towards my continued university education, my living expenses and medical cost. I am appreciative of all the support I have received in the past. It breaks my heart to have to come back to you again however please understand that I continue to work tirelessly to only better my own life but also better the lives of those around me. I want to ensure you that your past donation and future donation were not and will not be wasted. Your investment is and and investment in my future and while I may not be able to repay you directly I promise that I will repay the investment you made ten times over by giving back to my community and people who are in need as I will alway remember what it is like to feel marginalized and oppressed. I will keep you updated on my progress, my trials and success.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your support in the past, present and future. No donation is too small please consider sharing my new gofundme page with your networks.
P.s below is a link to my new go fund me page
www.gofundme.com/justice-for-benjamin.
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GoFundMe included a thanks from Ben and me in their (American) thanksgiving video. See it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff5onYDg1_4
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Ben shares his story with Carleton journalism students and thanks his generous supporters:
http://cusjc.ca/25hour/index.php/2017/11/08/not-my-canada/
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$45,823 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 432 people in 19 months
Created July 12, 2017
Susan Burhoe
on behalf of Benjamin Williamson
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