Announcing the 2021 recipients of the AboutFace Anna Pileggi Post-Secondary Scholarship! Congratulations to Meg Kuchma, Karlie Simon, and Liam Gale. All three scholarship winners are pursuing educational and career paths that will directly benefit the facial difference community.
Meg is pursuing a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University towards becoming a licensed psychotherapist. Living with facial palsy has led Meg to be an active advocate for facial difference acceptance and inspired her vocation to provide therapeutic support to young adults and adults with facial differences: “There is a real need for therapists who understand and specialize in facial differences who can bring awareness and training to counsellors and medical professionals. The AboutFace scholarship is monumental because it brings me closer to my goal of helping others in their healing process.”
Karlie is attending the Pre-Health Sciences Program at St. Clair College in Windsor, towards her pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Aiming to work with children, she currently coaches young figure skaters, and her goal is to be a pediatric or labour and delivery nurse. Born with a cleft lip and palate, Karlie attended Camp Trailblazers for five summers and is grateful for the friendships, empathy, and skills she has developed: “This scholarship is amazing to receive because it’s a recognition that the facial difference community has unique challenges, and support like this empowers us to reach for and achieve our dreams.”
Liam has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is now studying Education at the University of Alberta towards a career as a teacher or school psychologist. He has a range of work, volunteer and extra-curricular experience related to education, including working with children and youth with special needs, providing peer support, and leadership training. Liam credits his health experiences with allowing him to see new places and strengthen relationships with friends and family. Growing up with a port wine birthmark has motivated Liam to further the movement for inclusion of students with different appearances, abilities and cultures: “The AboutFace scholarship is hugely important because it reduces barriers for the facial difference community and enables us to make a wider, more meaningful impact. As an educator, I want to improve the outcomes for students with differences.”