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Kirsty Keenan

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Hi, I’m Kirsty Keenan. I had the privilege of winning the bursary and becoming part of Magnolia Incentive in its very first year, back in 2004. I have a huge amount to thank this scheme for, and feel extremely proud to be part of it.

Prior to going to university I took a gap year. My mentor Martin helped me to arrange a very rewarding trip to Boston and organise some work experience with a scheme called ‘Year Up’. This involved working with young adults from troubled or deprived backgrounds. Not only did this trip encourage me to exert some independence it channelled my passion for working with such people.

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2008 with a BSc in Sociology. Since finishing my course my goals have changed slightly and I am currently working full time, saving money and focusing on my future career path. The opportunities and support the Magnolia Incentive has given to me before, during and after university have been life changing. During this period of transition in my life it is of great comfort to be part of such a large network that are so willing to offer advice and support or simply be there to listen to any concerns. My mentors Martin and Mandy are always at the end of the phone if I’m having any difficulties, and we meet up for coffee/wine when possible just to catch up. They, and everyone else involved with Magnolia Incentive, are like a second family to me, a source of support, a fountain of knowledge and a network of friends that mean the absolute world to me.

Not only has the Magnolia Incentive helped me financially throughout University the pastoral support which is ongoing has helped me through some dark moments, helping me to stay positive and believe in myself. It is an honour to be part of such an amazing scheme, and is something I will continue to be supportive of throughout my life. | Martin Gill 07983 478571 | Mandy Parker 07834 771818

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