Meet 2023’s William G. Davis Scholarship winner

Aug 31st, 2023 | By FCT

“I am proud of FCT’s dedication to combatting youth homelessness in Canada, and breaking the cycles of poverty that put our youth at risk. This scholarship is an important part of that effort.”

– Daniela DeTommaso, President of FCT

 

On August 23, FCT presented Daliah Gardoque with the William G. Davis Scholarship award, in partnership with Home Suite Hope. The scholarship was established in 2015 to honour former Ontario Premier Bill Davis’s contributions to education.

Home Suite Hope is a charity that provides stability, and a path to self-reliance, to single mothers facing homelessness in Halton Region. The William G. Davis Scholarship helps toward that stability by making post-secondary education possible for people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.

Home Suite Hope administers the scholarship every year, receiving applications from clients in their program, as well as their children. Daniela DeTommaso spoke with pride about the partnership FCT and Home Suite Hope have built:

“At FCT, we’re invested in our community. That’s why we chose to work with Home Suite Hope—they don’t just offer a helping hand; they also help people get their feet back under them. Everybody deserves stability and dignity, and we saw that Home Suite Hope was providing that to so many.”

Meet Daliah Gardoque

Daliah, 22, is the first recipient to be a parent, rather than the child of a parent, participating in the program. Ambitious, resilient and determined to provide for her son, Daliah spoke about her struggle as a single parent, and the impact receiving this scholarship will have on her and her son’s lives.

“I remember sitting down to weigh my options, and writing it all out,” Daliah said. “Could I go back to school while raising my son and working full-time to make ends meet? I saw it there on paper, that I didn’t have the money or the time to be able to get that education—it just wasn’t an option for me.”

That’s why the William G. Davis Scholarship exists. For someone experiencing precarity or homelessness, the opportunity to pursue education or a new career feels completely out of reach. But investing in that person can change everything.

A future full of smiles

For Daliah, winning the award meant new possibilities for her future as a parent, and as a professional. “It’s definitely changed my perspective, big time, and it’s not an opportunity that everybody can get as a single parent” she said.

“This relationship [Home Suite Hope] has with FCT is giving people the chance to pursue post-secondary education. That’s not money you can walk up to someone and ask them for. It’s amazing to have this opportunity.”

After looking at several potential career paths, she’s set her sights on dentistry. “I met a dentist at a networking event, and he and I just started talking. He invited me to his practice to shadow him and see what it was about. The hygienists were explaining the science to me, the impact they have on people’s health. I was so intrigued by it all—to me, it was like going through an art gallery and just being in awe.”

Daliah still has a journey in front of her, but she knows she isn’t walking it alone. “Home Suite Hope has been there for me, and pushed me when I needed. And I have so much more support now than I’ve ever had. Even coming here to FCT, all these employees thanking me and letting me know they’re proud of me—that goes a long way.”

Congratulations, Daliah, from everyone at FCT.

 

 

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