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Undergraduate student Henry McKay

Undergraduate student Henry McKay.

Education changes lives, just ask Henry McKay

February 14, 2020 — 

When many people were thinking about graduating high school, I was wondering where I’d sleep each night.

Today, I’m in my third year of a social work degree and I want to tell you how philanthropy helped change my life.

My name is Henry McKay. I spent my early years living in foster care. But when I turned 18 and aged out of care, I had nowhere else to turn and ended up living on the streets for a time.

Many people supported me along the way, including my partner and children, but it wasn’t until I was 30 years old that I was finally able to finish my grade 12 and set my sights on post-secondary education. Getting accepted at UM was one of the best days of my life.

I thought I was going to be a boots-on-the-ground social worker. But I was inspired by professors doing some incredible research here. I didn’t even know social workers could be researchers.

With my own lived experience, I realized that I could tackle homelessness in a systemic way, to change policy, design programs and make actual change. I know it’s a big dream. But through my studies at UM, I have come to believe anything is possible.

Last summer, I participated in a research study and I’m certain my findings can play a key role in our city’s commitment to ending homelessness. I was able to participate thanks to a research award that’s funded by generous UM community members like you, many who gave through our university’s Front and Centre campaign.

By now you’ve heard that the Front and Centre campaign is coming to a close. Please renew your support and help us achieve our goals.

Your donation will help provide scholarships and bursaries for students who are working on important research that benefits all of us.

So I’m asking you to make a monthly gift of $25. If you can’t make a monthly gift today, please consider a one-time donation and help a student like me realize their dreams.

Donate Today

With thanks,

Henry McKay
Undergraduate student

P.S. When you make a donation, you’ll receive an invitation to the Front and Centre Campaign Celebration on April 2. I hope you attend; it’s going to be an amazing celebration!


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