HSSCU Scholarship Testimonial: Isadora Dowdall

News, Thursday 26th August, by HSSCU

HSSCU Higher Education Scholarships

At HSSCU, we are passionate about helping our members with their educational pursuits. We are well aware that education can be one of the most important aspects of someone’s life. That’s why we are thrilled to help make it easier for our members. With that in mind, we provide €50,000 in scholarship funds each year. Whether studying for a degree, diploma, master’s, or any further education course, our members can apply for a HSSCU scholarship. So far we have helped with physiotherapy, art courses, disability studies, and more. What’s more, it doesn’t matter what year of your course you’re in! This year, we decided to extend our application closing date to September 17th due to the later Leaving Certificate results. Please see the below testimonial from one of last year’s winners – the determined Isadora Dowdall!


Isadora Dowdall Testimonial


Isadora Dowdall - HSSCU Scholarship Recipient


Hi Isadora, tell us about yourself and your studies!


My name is Isadora and I am from Co. Meath. I am 45 years old, married to Niall and we have five children: Erin 20, Shane 18, Jack 15, and 13-year-old twins Ruby and Morgan. For the past five years, I have been working full-time as a Healthcare Assistant with the St. John of God North East Services. Here, I have been supporting adults who have moderate to profound intellectual disabilities.


For the previous fifteen years, I was a stay-at-home parent rearing our five children. In 2015, I decided to complete a level 5 in Healthcare Support and began my role with the service the following year. I then decided to continue with my education while working and applied for the BA Hons level 8 in Social Care at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I was successful in my application and began the four-year degree in September 2017. The degree course was delivered part-time in a blended learning format which allowed me to continue working full–time, travel to Galway for classes twice a month, complete assignments, study, and complete 200 hours of placement each year.


How did you hear about HSSCU’s Higher Education Scholarships?


I became aware of the HSSCU scholarship in August 2020 from an advertisement on the HSSCU Facebook page. The deadline had been extended due to the delay of the Leaving Cert results and the night before the deadline I decided to apply. In September, I received a phone call from Pádraig to say that I was successful and was awarded the funding to cover my final year fees. I was completely shocked and over the moon to receive the news! Being awarded the funding allowed me to focus on my final year and took the financial pressure away from our family. This was reinforced especially during Covid 19 Pandemic as, although I continued to work as a frontline worker, my husband was unable to due to the lockdown and restrictions.


What’s next on your journey and how has completing your degree helped?


I completed my honours degree in April 2021 and am due to receive my results in July. It has been challenging at times juggling family, study, and work but my husband and children are very supportive. I can honestly say that completing the degree in Social Care was a great personal achievement and it has enhanced my work practice and given me the knowledge and skills to continue to improve the lives of the people I support. After graduation, I hope to apply for a Social Care Worker role within the service.


Would you recommend for other members to apply?


HSSCU supports its members in all aspects of life and especially values the importance of education. I would encourage anyone to apply for the scholarship, it’s a fantastic opportunity that enables students to achieve their educational dreams without the worry of financial pressure. Thank you all at the HSSCU!


Would You Like to Apply?


To apply for a HSSCU scholarship this year, simply visit our scholarships webpage and download our application form. We are very excited to be able to afford this opportunity to a host of new members this year. You can see a wonderful video testimonial from a previous winner Alan O’Connor on our YouTube page.


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