#FacesOfTrentU: Philanthropy in Action

Sydney Forbes, Fourth-year BSc. Biology & Forensic Science specializing in Health Sciences.

 Headshot of Sydney Forbes "Family stands with you when things get tough. They stand beside you when you need support. And they also stand beside you when you celebrate success. My extended Trent family has been there every step of the way.” 

Sydney Forbes entering her fourth year of studies in the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies is nothing short of celebration-worthy. Her journey toward successfully finishing her degree has been a challenge, to say the least.

In her first year of studies at Trent, Ms. Forbes started to experience health issues that she believed was recurring pneumonia. It wasn’t until a mentor urged her to go to the emergency ward that she received the news: she had a large tumour. Immediately, Ms. Forbes was referred to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

Ms. Forbes alerted her mentors at the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, where the community immediately sprang to action. The then Director of the First People’s House of Learning, Adam Hopkins, drove Ms. Forbes’ belongings to Toronto and picked her mother up from the airport; Shari Beaver, Ms. Forbes’ student success coordinator, accompanied her to Sick Kids, telling her “I’m your stand-in mother until your mother gets here.”

The outpouring of support that Ms. Forbes received during this time in her life was massive. Ms. Forbes credits her success at Trent after this huge life hurdle to the incredible Trent family that rallied to support her.

“I will never forget what the community did for me. It was so above and beyond. And so quintessentially Trent.”

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