By Deron Hamel
Sarah McKenzie-Kerr has one career goal: to work with children. It’s a goal she’s now pursuing, thanks in part to inspiration from a famous singer who, like Sarah, is living with epilepsy.
Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who gained worldwide notoriety after performing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, provided Sarah with a quote that has resonated with her.
“(N)othing is impossible. It can be downright difficult, but not impossible,” Boyle once told Britain’s Daily Mirror.
Sarah says that this remark from Boyle made her realize that living with epilepsy does not mean a person cannot achieve their ambitions. Above all else, Sarah says she “loves” helping others. A career working with children, she adds, “is something that over the years I’ve fallen in love with.”
Sarah is now mapping out a career and has taken the first steps to attaining her goal. She is studying child and family studies at Nipissing University and is looking forward to everything the future has to offer.
Sarah notes that Boyle has used her fame to help children living with neurological disabilities, and she has encouraged others living with epilepsy to speak publicly about their condition, which is also inspiring for the student.
“Susan’s fearlessness has helped me be more open and talk about my story,” Sarah says. “She became an amazing famous singer, and I will be the best child worker.
“Nothing is impossible.”
Sarah is one of the recipients of this year’s Osler Epilepsy Scholarship. The $1,500 scholarship, formerly called the OBCL Epilepsy Scholarship, is being offered to five students this year.
Osler Epilepsy Scholarships are awarded each year to exceptional students who have confronted and overcome remarkable barriers in their academic and personal lives due to their epilepsy.
Applicants also submit a 600- to 900-word essay, about a famous person who has epilepsy and what that person’s life means to them.