Katie Rychliski, a Human Rights and Political Science student, has been given a richer post-secondary experience because of donor-funded programs. She’s traveled internationally to discuss and solve world problems, become active in student groups, has received financial aid and has never felt prouder to be a Raven. This is her story. 

Carleton has given me so much that I wanted to say thank you to those who have made the wonderful experiences I’ve had possible.

From obtaining a work placement, to volunteering, getting involved in extracurricular activities, learning and seeing the world—Carleton has given me a breadth of opportunity that has extended far beyond campus.

This summer, through donations to the FutureFunder—Carleton’s crowdfunding platform—donors sent me to West Africa to study and work on projects that support citizens in holding their governments accountable to democratic processes. This incredible opportunity opened my eyes to what donors do for students like me, and how their gifts can enable these opportunities and change lives.image2

It also made me realize that students need to take advantage of all the wonderful experiences Carleton has to offer.

I came to university quite worried about my finances. So, rather than prioritizing extracurricular activities and student experience, I applied for every job I could find. But in those first few weeks of classes, Carleton came to my aid in so many ways, offering undergraduate bursaries and scholarships and even a job on campus.

Suddenly, a whole new kind of undergraduate experience opened up to me.

I joined the United Nations Society and have since represented Carleton at international conferences, debating world problems with other students on topics like the legal definitions of torture and how information communications technology can facilitate agency in developing countries.

This experience shaped my area of interest, and I changed my field of study to political science and human rights so that I could learn more about these issues and be engaged by the passionate professors who teach them.

I now have made more friends and memories than I could have ever imagined. I volunteer as a note taker at the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities, and I’ve organized presentations from speakers like Denis Edney, a Canadian human rights lawyer. This January, I will be heading abroad on an exchange program.image10

In essence, the financial contributions I have been awarded have transformed from quantitative numbers to real opportunities, experiences and a university career that is better than I ever imagined.

Now in my third year, I have been awarded almost $10,000 in financial aid from Carleton and am truly grateful to all those who have made my experiences here possible.

Beyond the walls of campus, I have seen—first hand—how Carleton has spread, exchanged and helped realize the ideas of communities in West Africa, and at Model UN conferences, showing that the inspiring enthusiasm of students, staff and faculty is having an impact around the world.

Carleton is a place of innovation and part of investing in students is investing in the uniquely human ability to imagine change in our own lives and in the lives of people across continents and around the world.

What I have discovered at Carleton is that coming to university is about more than getting a job, or competing against your classmates, it is about the power that knowledge has in bringing people together to make the world a better place.

I am proud to be a student at Carleton because it’s a community that so many people have come together to create and improve. Donations don’t just create possibilities, but they give students the confidence that they can have an impact on the world.

I want the world of the future to be one of inclusivity, innovation, empathy and understanding—and by no coincidence does that world look at lot like Carleton.Version 4