What it means to me to be an “Old Girtonian”
From the Scholarship Winner  – 2007

From a young age I set myself a goal of helping people throughout my life and making a huge impact on individual lives. This goal has motivated me to show people what they can make of their lives, even though they may have minor set backs.

In 2004, I was diagnosed with a disease known as Meniere’s disease. This disease has changed my whole life and can control the way I have to live my life. However, through my determination and motivation I have learnt that my disease will always be a part of my life, but what percentage of my life it takes up is all up to me. One goal I have set myself is to show people that no matter how bad things seem today, life does go on, and things will be better tomorrow. I believe it is necessary that people should know that they are not alone and there is always somebody out there willing to lend a hand.

One of my heroes Maya Angelou, a poet and civil rights activist, wrote about her life experience in a magazine, she stated “…I now know that life sometimes gives you a second chance and you shouldn’t go through life with catcher’s mitts on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back. I’ve learnt that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I know that even when I have pains, I don’t know to be one, and that every day you should reach out and touch someone – people love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learnt that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve also learnt that people will soon forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

After graduating from Girton in 2007, I left with the dream of becoming a Rehabilitation Councilor. This career path has also been motivated by my goals of helping people throughout the world but also by my Dad. He had a work accident when I was young, and has never fully recovered. Since Dad’s accident I have lived with the full impact of what it has taken him to attempt to recover and move on with his life to the best of his ability. By having personal experience in such a specific area, I understand what patients such as my dad and their families go through in such a situation.

These two goals and experiences have made me want to choose this career path.  Also, I plan to further my studies and qualifications and complete my Masters to ensure I can help as many people as I possibly can.

Since commencing my Girton education in 2002, the School has been a big part of my life. The School has watched me grow up but most importantly has encouraged me to develop my personal qualities. Girton has taught me to believe in myself, and to reach for my goals. As Girton has played a major part in my schooling life and my personal development, the School still remains such a big part of my life. Hence, the Old Girtonians’ Association provides the connection for past students, such as myself, to still have this connection to Girton and all their memories. By being a Life Member I hope to encourage other current students to enjoy and participate in many aspects of their schooling life including joining the Old Girtonians’ Association.

By being awarded the Old Girtonians’ Association Scholarship, will assist me in fulfilling my goals and dreams. I will use my Scholarship to become a qualified Rehabilitation Councilor. This Scholarship will assist me in paying for expensive university books and also to eleviate the cost of my University fees making it easier for me to finish University without a significant HECS debt.

I cannot say how thankful I am to the OGA for helping me continue this dream and contributing to the person which I will continue to grow into.

Phalen Taylor (12 Aherne 2007)