Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Student Stories: Financial Aid Makes a Difference

Olivia Conrad

Hometown: Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

Program at StFX: Anthropology, Senior Year

“I have never felt the meaning of the word ‘community’ more than I have at StFX.

Stories from alumni about finding yourself and feeling connected to others around the world through the X-Ring is something I just knew I had to experience for myself. Now I have, and if I could, I would do it all again. 

I am a fourth-year Anthropology major, and my dream career is to be an archaeologist or a museum curator. I work on campus, helping with sporting events and off-campus, taking care of the elderly at Parkland Antigonish. I love these jobs, and they remind me that I need to work hard to accomplish my goals. When I’m not in class, studying at the library, or working, I love to go on walks and attend on-campus events, including sports (Go X Go!)

Education is a costly endeavour, but I can honestly say that it has been life-changing and worth every penny. Being a Xaverian means something special, and it has become a part of who I am today. My bursary helped me to pay my living costs so that I could focus more on school. Student financial aid allows for students to be students.” – Olivia Conrad ’22


Travis Loov

Hometown: Sherwood Park, Alberta

Program at StFX: Human Kinetics, Senior Year

Since my first day at StFX, I realized that this campus brings out the best in people.

With graduation now in sight, I can confidently say that all the stories I heard from previous StFX students have been accurate. Each year, I notice that I continue to grow, and this school has played a significant role in that growth. The experience I have had at StFX changed me as a person for the better.  

During my time at X, I have been a member of many great teams on campus. I am the President of the X-Medical Response team (a student-run volunteer organization that provides first aid services to the StFX campus and Antigonish community). I am also an Anatomy lab demonstrator and tutor and am the Head of Security at the Golden X Inn. Student financial aid allowed me to focus on my academic goals and my goals in my extracurriculars, too. 

The bursary I received had an extremely positive impact on my university career. I plan to pass the generosity on in the future by funding a bursary so that I may impact a student just as I have been.


Dominique Cacanindin

"On the day that I received my bursary from StFX, I went to the bank with my mom to try and take out a student line of credit. Our application was not approved. My mom and I walked out of the bank and sat in the car for a long while, strategizing how we would afford my first year at StFX. Some twenty minutes after she dropped me off, I received a ‘Congratulations!’ email.

It was a strange coincidence – and a huge blessing. After receiving that email, I made two calls. First, to my mom, to tell her the good news. Second, to the financial aid office at StFX to thank them (and pay my residence fees.)

StFX is a small school with so much opportunity. I served as Vice-President of the Student Nursing Society, completed a hands-on clinical in the Operating and Emergency Rooms of St. Martha’s Regional Hospital and picked up so many friends and great memories along the way.

Donor generosity is the reason I was able to attend X. It is why I could buy textbooks, a stethoscope, and my first pair of scrubs. It is the reason I will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing." - Dominique Cacanindin '21


Hannah Chisholm 

"When asked if I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, I think back to the lemonade stand my younger sister and me ran at the end of our driveway in Heatherton, NS. Sales of our sugary tart drink were hard to come by in our small, rural community, so we saved up our allowance money for months to buy enough lemonade to sell at a music festival that passed through town every summer. We sold out within two hours and made back our allowance money – and more.

Before coming to StFX, I was unclear about what business opportunity I wanted to pursue, but I was passionate about starting my own business. Like many students, I relied on scholarships, a small student loan and worked several part-time jobs throughout university. In 2017, I applied to the Wallace Family Entrepreneurship fund, an internship for students who develop a prototype or venture and see their enterprise come to life. Through the program, I developed Eggcitables, a plant-based egg alternative. Three years after graduation, Eggcitables is in retail stores across Canada.

I have come from selling roadside lemonade to partnering with retail locations coast-to- coast to sell my product, and I would not be where I am today without the support of the StFX community. Every dollar and every donation can make a difference!” – Hannah Chisholm ’18


Amanda Momberquette

Hometown: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Program at StFX: 3rd year, Bachelor of Arts in Human Kinetics

I’m extremely grateful for the financial support I received through the StFX bursary program.  My bursary has given me the opportunity to focus on my education and not worry about the financial impact associated with tuition and the expense of living away from home. 

These programs are important because they help students achieve academic success without the financial worry.  Many students would never be able to attend University without these financial supports, so your gift to the student financial aid program will help make a difference in a student’s life


Jessie Doyle

Hometown: Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Program at StFX: Graduated in 2019 with a BA (Honours) in Psychology and a concentration in Forensic Psychology. Currently working towards a PhD in Psychology at UNB.

The impact that receiving bursaries has had on my ability to study at StFX is really quite overwhelming. Like many students, when I entered StFX I faced financial difficulties and worked between 25-35 hours each week at a fast food restaurant.  Dedicating that much energy into working had a substantial impact on my grades, and further, my belief that I even was even capable of excelling in a university setting.

Before entering my third year, I took a leap of faith and dedicated myself to my studies in Psychology. This decision meant I had to quit my job in order to spend time on my course work and excel academically. My marks improved and I was able to become more involved with extracurricular activities on campus, like the Psychology Society. This led to me being accepted in the Honours program, and the Special Concentration in Forensic Psychology. Through it all, I also received substantial financial aid from the bursary program.

When I refer to impact of receiving financial aid through StFX’s bursary program, it’s not simply a matter of bursaries making it possible for me to afford expensive hair products or fancy clothing. Receiving bursaries (and I cannot stress this enough) has made the difference between having enough money in the bank for my insurance to be withdrawn (or not), being able to put gas in my car (or not), maintain an active cell phone (or not), travel for research purposes (or not) ... the list goes on.

Receiving this support allowed me to focus on continuing my enthralling pursuit of knowledge, while managing the stress (and its detrimental repercussions) associated with financial insecurity. In sum, I would not be where I am today, neither academically nor in terms of positive mental health, were it not for the support of StFX’s bursary program. I can only definitively speak to my own experience, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the financial support, self-confidence, and security that the bursary program provides to so many other students has rippled in many positive capacities – the likes of which we may never fully know.


Azaro Roker

Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas

Program at StFX: Development Studies

Bursaries help me to get by on a monthly basis. They help me pay for food, and bills like my rent.

These kinds of student financial aid programs are extremely important, because they help students with their everyday basic needs. I know how students value the school and the bursary program, and I would say that your donation will help a lot of students like me.


Kieran Ward

Hometown: Kingston, Ontario

Program at StFX: 2019 BBA graduate with a major in Management and Leadership

My bursary helped pay for textbooks, allowed me to get involved with extra-curricular opportunities on campus, and helped make it possible to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina last spring.

Student Financial Aid programs like these give deserving students opportunities to flourish and take ownership over their university experience, while having peace of mind that part of their schooling is paid for. Many students stress about having the funds to be able to achieve their degree, and these programs are a major help for many students every single year.

Making a gift means you give the gift of education. You are giving students peace of mind and the confidence to learn and grow. You are educating young minds to succeed and be leaders of the future.

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