After a decade on local radio, Mare McHale, went on to host a highly-successful blog helping others deal with mental health and grief. As a result, many people who were struggling reached out, asking Mare for one-on-one sessions. She was touched, and liked the idea of meeting. But, she also felt she needed more expertise to be able to truly offer this level of assistance.
Spurred by these new connections, Mare decided to enroll in Okanagan College and then the University of Calgary working to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. As a returning student, and a single mom, she also looked for financial assistance.
“When I was looking for bursaries and awards there was nothing there for mature students or students returning to school,” said McHale — except for the Community Foundation that offers educational awards, not based on academic achievement to both graduating and returning students.
“It was a big risk to go back to school and to know that I had the support of the Foundation was very validating for me,” said McHale. “Especially because who the Foundation is and what they do for our community, I felt humbled to be chosen for an award.”
Once McHale is finished her schooling she plans to work locally, and eventually pursue a Masters. “I would like to take what I learned through school and through my own personal experience and help people who are struggling.”