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In conversation with a student caller


Accounting & Finance student Valerie Forbes is taking part in the annual fund’s student-caller campaign to raise awareness about the impact collective philanthropy has had on students, the university and herself.

How do you feel the student-caller campaign is going?Valerie Forbes

Really good. The alumni we’ve been talking to have had lots of very positive things to say about their experience at RGU. When we ask if they’d be interested in coming back and getting involved with the university, I would say, the majority are really up for that.

What’s it like being a student caller?

There’s a great bunch of students in the student-caller team. They’re all really positive and all had a really great experience at RGU, which has encouraged them to come in and do this.

We like to talk to alumni about their time at the university and ask if they’d like to be kept up-to-date with all of the alumni events coming up. It gives them a chance to re-connect with their fellow alumni and the university. I also like to also talk about how The RGU Foundation has made a big difference to myself.

How has The RGU Foundation helped you?

It’s things like my CNR [Canadian Natural Resources] scholarship. The university contacted me and invited me to apply for it. As a single mum, I was really was weighing up whether I could come to university or not. I was invited to apply for the scholarship, which I got. RGU saw something in me that I hadn’t recognised in myself and it basically enabled me to come to university.

Valerie is a chosen recipient of the CNR International Barbara Rae Memorial Scholarship. Thanks to the generous philanthropy of Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Valerie has access to mentoring, pastoral care and study skills support coordinated through the university’s Department for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Access (DELTA).

In the summer before I started here, I found out that I was dyslexic and had dysgraphia. The university managed to pay for me to get tested and confirmed through the disability and dyslexia centre. It was a big revelation.

I need to read everything three times before it clicks, and it’s because I’m dyslexic. All of my weekends and evenings -- I study. Had I not got the scholarship, I would have had to get a part-time job and my studies most definitely would have suffered.

How do the callers react when they find out about your experiences?

A lot of them don’t realise that there is a charitable branch of RGU that they can actually donate to. The Foundation is constantly working to help students with bursaries, hardship funds, The Employability Centre, Nightline.

The RGU Foundation has done so much for me. There are so many things that it can help with and that’s why I’m doing the student-caller campaign. I’m only too glad to come back and do my part.

The annual fund 2018 student-caller campaign ends on Thursday 14 June. You can see stories about the fund's impact on YouTube.

Release by Jack Stott
Communications Officer
Press and Media Enquiries