1. Tell us about yourself (name, age, where you live, school, what you are studying, etc.)

 

My name is Kayla McLaughlin, I am 20 years old, and attending Ryerson University for Journalism with a minor in English. Throughout the school year I commute from Stouffville, Ont., which is approximately an hour North East of Toronto.

 

  1. What made you decide to raise your hand and apply for the NGOTB scholarship?

 

I decided to apply for the scholarship because after hearing about Pauleanna Reid and speaking to her on the phone, I felt like NGOTB was a great organization, empowering and strengthening women; a sisterhood I would love to be a part of. When I realized that I met the qualifications, there was no reason for me not to try. Commuting to school, paying for books, food and transportation can really take a toll on the university student. Recognition for hard work can really be the push you need to keep going through the stress of exams, essays, and all of the other university bliss.

 

  1. How did you make use of the scholarship money?

 

At the beginning of the year, I went to meet my friend in Germany who was studying abroad. We travelled Europe for almost a month, which ended up being very costly. The scholarship money mostly went to this, because so much learning and life experience is gained outside of the classroom. The trip and experience has inspired so much of my writing since then, as well as my outlook on life. Travelling has always been important to me, so the extra money certainly helped me to take advantage of the opportunity.

 

  1. What have you been up to over the last six months?

 

When I returned from my trip, I completed my third year of university, started building a website and put together a promo video of my broadcasting capabilities. I volunteered for the iHeart Radio Much Music Video Awards for the second year in a row, and have been working two jobs to save up for my last semester of university in the fall.

 

  1. Best lesson learned this year?

 

The best lesson I learned this year is that preparation is key. Life has a funny way of throwing opportunities at you whether you are ready or not. By constantly perfecting your craft and staying up-to-date, you can embrace change and opportunity instead of running from it.

 

  1. What’s next for you? What goals are you aiming to achieve for the remainder of this year and 2018.

 

I will be completing university this December, a semester earlier than expected because of the extra classes I took each year. One of my final requirements is doing an internship, which I am very excited for, and hoping to gain journalistic experience, network with industry professionals, and continue building toward my career. Throughout this year and in 2018, I hope to be more diligent in maintaining my website and building my brand through business cards, promotion, and online presence. Lastly, financial stability has been a big goal for me this year; I plan on continuing to strive toward my savings goal for the year, being very conscious of my monetary decisions.

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New Girl on the Block is a mentorship program but way sicker than your average. We believe that no woman is an island – we excel when we seek the love, support & guidance of other strong women to help elevate us. Whether you are ready to publish your debut novel, own your own business, move across the globe or climb the ranks to your dream position, we are here to guide and support you every step of the way.
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