Before having her daughter, Natalie Sedlacek never thought she would finish high school. She certainly never imagined she would receive a scholarship for post-secondary studies. But, as one of the first winners of the WLC Inspiring Futures scholarship, Natalie now has funding to pursue her degree in Correctional Studies at Bow Valley College.
“Getting this scholarship will help me because it will push me further,” Natalie says. “It’s going to help me with [the] financial burden of raising my daughter. That’s hard. I do it on my own. I don’t have anyone to help.”
The WLC Inspiring Futures scholarships are targeted to pregnant and parenting teens to further their post-secondary education. These scholarships were created in collaboration between Burns Memorial Fund and United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC).
After having her daughter, Natalie realized the importance of getting an education and she wanted to set a good example for her two-year-old.
“The scholarship has furthered my education and helped me achieve the goals I want to achieve, that I’ve set for myself,” Natalie says. “It kind of makes me feel like a leader. For other women to help out other women — it makes me feel good.”
Natalie is now in her first semester at college and is set up for success as she pursues her career in justice studies.
“The things you overcome, you don’t think about it until something like this,” Natalie says. “Lots has happened in my life and all of a sudden, I’m like, I got over that and look where I am today.”
The WLC is expanding its focus to provide supports so all Calgary’s girls succeed in school, develop confidence and are set up for future success. You can watch Natalie talk about how this will impact her life in this CTV clip.