As with many people, I come from a family in which, due to a series of unfortunate events, disposable income was low. I knew it was going to be tough financially when I transferred to DCU, but hadn’t actually grasped how tough.

Without HEAR, even though I worked as much as I could, I could never have attended. Not just the financial help, but the friendly faces and advice, and the ability to put me in touch with someone willing to dedicate an hour of their knowledge on a subject that evaded me, was incredible.

I am truly indebted to HEAR for all the help. Not just is it the obvious form of help, but it builds character. I wanted to do as well as I could partly to show them that their help was as appreciated as it was. This spurred me on to achieve first class honours. Another aspect of the character-building is that it really evokes a pay-it-forward attitude. I am now in the position to assist in the education of those in need, and when I finish my postgrad, I will be in a financial position to do so also.

I am the youngest of my family and the first to attend college. I am now one year into a PhD programme in Chemistry. On a side note, two of my best friends today, I met four years ago as part of the HEAR Orientation week before I started my adventure in DCU.