Many students overcome numerous obstacles to make it to Queen’s, and first-year Nick Rodgers is no different.
After receiving a scholarship from the Children’s Aid Foundation, Rodgers hopes his story will inspire his peers and youth in similar situations.
As a recipient of the Joe Carter Scholarship, Rodgers will be awarded $5,000 per year from the Foundation. He was encouraged to apply for the award by his case worker.
For Rodgers, the scholarship means more than money.
“The experiences have helped to build a lot of confidence in myself,” Rodgers, ArtSci ’16, said.
Rodgers’ story began in Calgary, where he was taken from his biological parents at age two by the Children’s Aid Society and sent to live in a temporary home in Toronto.
Rodgers moved to a group home in Peterborough where he was homeschooled until he was 16.
He then joined Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough.
It was in the parking lot of this high school that Rodgers met the people that would eventually become his family, the Larsons.
The Larsons began the process of becoming a foster family after Rodgers began spending more time with them.
When Children’s Aid gave its approval in March 2010, Rodgers became a permanent part of their family.
Rodgers remembers the Christmases spent with the Larsons as being more “jolly” than previous ones in the group home.
“Group home Christmas equates to opening gifts and leaving,” he said, adding that Christmas with the Larsons meant more than presents and was about spending time with family.
When it came to choosing universities, Rodgers was torn between his local school, Trent University, and Queen’s.
Rodgers ultimately chose Queen’s after he attended the E=MC2 enrichment studies program in Gr. 10.
“I think I considered my local school basically because of my nervousness to leave my family, because I’ve never really taken care of myself to that extent,” he said.
“Even though I was very scared, I think it’s the better fit for me and I’ll have more fun and it will look better when I graduate in terms of the degree’s worth.”
At Queen’s, Rodgers hopes to study psychology, but is taking an array of courses, including Spanish and cognitive science. Aside from being excited for Frosh Week, Rodgers said he’s most excited to move on.
“I’ve spent a lot of time making myself a better person than I was when I first moved to my family,” he said.
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