, Belleville, Ont.
I took a different route to university than most people do. I grew up firmly rooted in the hockey community. I played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa Generals and the London Knights.
After I finished my OHL career, I was adamant that I was going to keep playing hockey. I was going to look for a professional contract. But then it became apparent that that was not the right choice for me, so I had to shift gears.
I didn’t really know what I wanted, but when Coach Gibson called me, I made a decision that if I was going to go to school, I would go to the best school, and that’s how I ended up at Queen’s.
When I left hockey, there were five players who had taken their own lives. There are a lot of mental health issues in hockey. I knew I wanted to be an advocate and address them. I didn’t know if I was going to do that through a medical career or a legal career. I toyed with both. After my first year, I realized I was more drawn to the legal side of things.
With a medical degree, I would have been treating people who are already in trouble. What I want to do is protect the people I know who are in trouble and prevent them from getting in more trouble.
I think you can do that as a lawyer. You can address issues through contracts. You can put procedures and safeguards in place. You can have more clout and influence negotiations.
Being in law school at Queen’s helped me figure out how to address these problems. I’ve learned how to advocate for groups of people, how to use language to protect people.
Receiving financial assistance was important for me. I don’t come from a lot of money, and financial aid helped to get me here and also to alleviate some stress once I was here. It let me focus on things that are important, as opposed to more urgent, things that are more conducive to me bettering myself. I have never lost sight of how fortunate I am to have received it.
Financial aid has put me in a position where I can be a donor myself one day. I want to help remove the barriers that are preventing people from coming here. I believe that money should never be a roadblock to education. I am a testament to that.