One of our first ever Lawscot Foundation recipients is Laura, who is studying at Abertay University. While she was still at school, Laura spent a period of time living in a homeless shelter and writes about what the support from the Lawscot Foundation means to her.
Since turning sixteen I have been living independently (from my family). Estrangement comes with its many challenges, but it has the power to help you grow into yourself. Refusing to let this have a negative impact, I stuck in at school and got the grades I needed. I wanted to help people. I wanted to show my appreciation for all the people who assisted me through this time. Therefore, I chose to study law. I found out about the Lawscot Foundation online and knew I had to apply as soon as possible because this was an amazing opportunity and I could not let it slip through my fingers. Thankfully I was successful in my application.
First year (on the LLB) has been a rollercoaster. I have met amazing people through my course, sport and through the Foundation. The work has been challenging, as university work is such a big jump from High School. However, I have enjoyed diving into the tasks and giving my one-hundred percent effort to obtain the best grades I possibly can. The course has given me so much more confidence in myself as I believe I can be successful and that I have the ability to produce work that meets expectations.
Having a mentor has helped immensely. Monthly meetings with Rachael, a trainee solicitor at Blackadders, have given me the opportunity to talk about short and long-term goals, as well as discussing any issues I am having, whether it is to do with the course directly or not. Rachael provides amazing guidance for going forward and has provided me with contacts and networking opportunities.
As well as having a mentor who is working in the profession, I have also been given a mentor who attends the same university as myself and is ahead of me on the course. Having a student buddy has been beneficial as I have been able to ask questions about university work. For example, when completing my first essay I could not quite comprehend the correct way to reference but he was able to give me advice as to how to fix this. The mentors that the Foundation provided me with are excellent. They have played a large part in making me feel a lot more relaxed about the course when I have felt concerned or stressed and they have played an important part in building my confidence.
The bursary that is provided is an added benefit of the Lawscot Foundation as it takes off a lot of financial stress. The bursary has helped me to obtain the recommended books for modules to aid my studies as well as allowing me to live comfortably. Before coming to university, money was a big issue for me. I was terrified I would not be able to afford it as I do not have parental help, but the Foundation allowing me to have this opportunity has lifted a massive weight off of my shoulders and I am forever thankful.