Ruth uses scholarship to spend summer at camp supporting disabled children

Ruth Christian has had a very busy couple of years since applying to study LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology at Edge Hill University. Now in her third year and preparing to graduate, Ruth reflected on the past two years as an Excellence Scholarship winner.

“Two years ago I first applied for the Excellence Scholarship citing the volunteer work I did at home during college. I’ll admit now, my application was completed between work, college, exams and a busy social life! It wasn’t the best so it was no surprise when my first application was unsuccessful.

However, even though I wasn’t awarded a scholarship on that occasion, the University still took notice of my application and asked if I would like to be involved in a new initiative, the Volunteer Certificate and Ambassador Scheme.

This new opportunity has been a great help to me in my last two years at Edge Hill. I’ve met new people, got a volunteer post, and I have recently gained my silver certificate, which will look good on my CV. It is due to all of this that I thought it would be a good idea to apply for the Excellence Scholarship for Current Students, again for my volunteering. This time I made sure that my application was as good as it could be, going into as much detail as possible, no matter how insignificant it might seem. Also, something I didn’t include in my first application was evidence, as I couldn’t take photos in my first volunteer job. However my volunteer job at university let me take a photo in the sensory room in my staff t-shirt. This enhanced my application and I was successful in gaining the Excellence Scholarship.

The awards ceremony which is held for the winners of the scholarship is an amazing night where you get to show off your achievements and feel proud of yourself and what you can do. It is also a great chance for your family to congratulate you and for them to see what you’ve achieved and celebrate it.

With the money I gained I put it towards spending nearly three months in America, working on a camp for disabled children and travelling. I honestly don’t know how to sum up my time at the camp; the ups, the downs, the excitement and exhaustion. It’s been a rollercoaster of a summer which I wouldn’t change for the world!

As well as the campers, I have worked with some amazing counsellors, from all over the world. We started as strangers who were put into a cabin to live together for 10 weeks but we left as a family. Every one of the counsellors and campers has in some way or other done something to make this summer the best I’ve ever had.

It wasn’t all easy going though, there were hard times and struggles. From the 14/15 hours working a day, to limited time off at weekends and lack of contact with home. There were times where I’ve just wanted to be back home but I am honestly so glad I was strong enough not to cave in at those moments.

Once I had finished camp, I traveled far and wide around America. With my camp being in New Jersey, I left the day after camp and flew over to San Francisco for a few days, then back to Newark, down to Philadelphia and Washington. After this I did an organised trek up to Niagara Falls and finished with a few days in New York before flying home.

Some advice which I would always give to someone considering applying for a scholarship is that it never hurts to try! If you’ve done anything which can apply to a scholarship go for it! And if you do, don’t leave anything out even if you think it’s not important. A few months ago I received the amazing news that I have won a Chancellors Scholarship as well which just proves that there’s no harm in trying!”