Polly Scott Bursary Recipient!

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Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the BC Women’s Institute are proud to present the inaugural Polly Scott Bursary to Ottalie Garvin!

Polly Scott Bursary 2016 Recipient,
Ottalie Garvin, excited to recieve her cheque.

Ottalie has a medical diagnosis of cerebral palsy with dystonic-quadriplegic patterns, present with a spinal deformity, pelvic obliquity and leg length discrepancy. In more layman’s terms, Ottalie describes her disability as having “an overactive mind trapped in [her] body”, as she has limited movement of her arms and legs. However, Ottalie does not let her disability stop her from being the intelligent and ambitious young woman she is.

Ottalie is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. She has dreams of becoming an author and writer of novels, poetry, journalism and even script and play writing. Ottalie is currently learning to use Dragon Naturally Speaking, a speech to text software, to assist her with her writing capabilities. While the technology is not perfect, and takes her a great deal of effort to use, Ottalie is determined to become as independent as possible in her academic studies. She is most looking forward to some of her English literature courses, as she has a love for literature written in the 1600s – 1800s. Ottalie is also hoping to take some courses in Greek and Roman, Mythology, and Women’s studies, as those are some of the topics that inspire her most.

The Foundation was thrilled to have Ottalie and her parents, as well as Ruth and Donna from the BC Women’s Institute at the office to present Ottalie with her bursary cheque. On a beautiful, sunny afternoon, Ruth and Donna shared stories with Ottalie about Polly Scott and the history of the Foundation. It came as a surprise to Ottalie to hear that she was the very first recipient of the Polly Scott Bursary. When asked how she felt about this news she replied, “It is a lot of pressure, I hope I can live up to it!” – Don’t worry Ottalie, we know you can!

All of us at the Foundation are so pleased to present this bursary to such a deserving young woman, and we are positive Ottalie has a bright future ahead of her. We look forward to following her academic path and reading one of her books in the future!

The Polly Scott Bursary is presented by the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the South Vancouver Island District of BC Women’s Institute. The bursary has been established in honour of the contributions the BC Women’s Institute has made to the creation and sustainability of the Foundation and its long-standing support of children with disabilities and health challenges. The bursary is named in tribute to one of the first children served at the original Queen Alexandra Solarium in Mill Bay—Othoa “Polly” Scott.

The bursary provides financial assistance to youth or young adults (17 – 25 years old) from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, who have a disability or ongoing health challenge and are undertaking or continuing post-secondary education.

In 1922, severe pain in little Polly Scott’s back sent her family in search of medical care. What her worried step-mother, Edith Scott, did not know is that the actions she took to get help for Polly would permanently change the course of children’s health on Vancouver Island. The Hornby Island family’s desperate search for care for Polly’s “tubercular spine” became the catalyst for Vancouver Island’s first specialized services for children with disabilities.

Edith Scott’s advocacy on behalf of her daughter and the support of the BC Women’s Institutes led to the creation in 1927 of the Island’s first hospital for “delicate and crippled children,” the Queen Alexandra Solarium. Much has changed in the field of children’s health since then, and much has changed for what was once a small children’s hospital in Mill Bay.

If you are interested in applying for the Polly Scott Bursary next year, you can find more information here.