The Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Pat Lord Award has been granted to two students, Victoria Hannam and Justin Doiron. The scholarship is awarded to youth who were placed for adoption through the former Children’s Aid Society of Pictou County, or came from another agency to a Pictou County adoptive family.
Victoria, who aspires to be a professional photographer and loves to travel, has deep gratitude for her life experiences. “I never used to want people to know I was adopted, but now I don’t mind because it has given me an amazing story to tell about myself. My adoption is an important part of the person I am today and all the good that has happened in my life.”
In elementary school, Victoria struggled with learning disabilities, but was transformed into a high school honour student when provided with a learning environment that helped her understand how she learned. She will be studying Applied Media and Communication Arts at NSCC.
“This award means a lot because Pat Lord was my adoption worker and she helped find my sister and me a good forever family and the best home. She made sure my adoptive family knew how important my Nannie MacGee was in my life. Because of Pat, I know my birth family and know I was loved.”
Justin, a self-described ‘troubled child’ credits his adoptive parents who never gave up on him, psychologists, school, and community with helping to turn his life around in recent years.
Justin will be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at Mount Allison University, the first step in his goal to become an English and Music teacher. “I want to show everyone who didn’t believe I’d amount to anything and make my parents proud.”
It was after a co-op program with a music teacher that Justin knew the path he wanted to pursue. “I had the realization that not only am I very competent, but I quite enjoy helping my peers learn and build their knowledge. I want to help young students learn to express themselves the way I have through music. I believe that music is a very important part in discovering who you are, and I’d like to be a part of that in the lives of the next generation of students.”
The Aberdeen Health Foundation’s Pat Lord Post-Secondary Education Award for Pictou County Adoptees was created in 2009 to recognize the work of Mrs. Pat Lord, Adoption Worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Pictou County, who retired after 39 years of service.
“Adoption is beautiful. I have had the privilege of witnessing so many of these acts of beauty,” says Pat Lord. “I am delighted that this bursary continues to be awarded to young adoptees and I feel honoured to make the presentation to Victoria and Justin as they embark on exciting new chapters in their lives. We wish them every success.”
Pictured L-R: Pat Lord, Justin Doiron, Victoria Hannam, and committee member Shalyn Murphy.