William Mitchell

William Mitchell

I want to thank my mom and dad because of their unrelenting devotion to their four children’s success and wellbeing.

Not only do my siblings and I differ with regards to personalities, interests, and academic pursuits, we are all studying in different cities - every parents’ nightmare! My older sister is currently at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, pursuing a MSc in Occupational Therapy. Studying overseas is no easy feat, financially or emotionally. My older brother is enrolled at Carleton University, looking to graduate next year with a Bachelor’s of Music, majoring in celtic music and the bagpipes. The youngest just finished grade 9 at Leahurst College in Kingston, Ontario.

I just finished my second year of university at the University of Ottawa in Kinesiology and I will be transferring to Concordia University this fall into a new program. After my first year, I realized that I did not truly enjoy Kinesiology. My second year was a time of self-discovery for me, trying to determine what field I wanted to pursue, to find something I was passionate about. Many students experience such uncertainty, yet some parents would not necessarily support their child's decision to change degree paths at the halfway point, considering the cost associated with doing an undergraduate degree, especially when away from home. Not once did my parents ever try to convince me to finish my degree in Kinesiology, they supported me when I decided to take elective courses to learn about different subjects to see which would interest me most. Thanks to their support, I was able to discover that I wanted to pursue Environmental Studies at Concordia University, in Montréal. Without any hesitations, they have facilitated my move to another city and new university.

My parents both work full-time jobs; my mom is a high-school French teacher and my dad is an orthopaedic sales representative. When they come home from their jobs, their workload does not end. Meal preparation, laundry, driving my sister to dance practice, writing report cards, conference calls all take precedence over going to the gym, watching television and enjoying a good book. This has been my parents reality for the past 25 years, and I have not once heard them complain about it as I have heard other adults do.

Hypothetically speaking, if my parents were to be awarded the monetary gift, an idea that came to mind was for them to take a holiday somewhere kid free. My parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last year and had wanted to go away somewhere for a weekend. Instead, they choose to drive my brother to-and-from Toronto for a bagpiping tutorial and competition. Again, without hesitation or overthinking the matter. Not to mention, an additional source of income would reduce some of the stress around current finances. Supporting four children at four different institutions, is costly to say the least.

Although my parents deserve a trip for the both of them, I know what my parents would truly want to spend their money on - something that the entire family would enjoy. In the house we currently live in, there is a very small deck in the backyard. Being a family of six, we take up lots of space! We would need to expand the current deck to be able to set up our patio table and chairs. In our previous house, we had a large deck were we spent countless meals and evenings as a family together. I would love to provide my parents with the opportunity and resources to recreate a space where we can spend time together outside in the warmer months of the year.

Merci énormément Maman et Papa pour tout ce que vous faites pour nous. Nous sommes très chanceux d'avoir vous deux dans nos vies!