If you’re looking to invest in the future, look no further than Karly Drabot.
The 23-year-old was born and raised in Penticton and has been accepted to study at Cambridge University. Just one problem: she’s short on cash and time.
It’s going to cost $50,000 to complete a one-year master’s degree, but she’s been unable to tap into student loans to go abroad.
“This really is my last resort. I didn’t want to have to ask the community, and so I’m definitely pushing my comfort zone by putting myself out there and asking for contributions,” she said.
“And the reason I decided to do it is because I don’t want to be here in three months and regret not trying my hardest to get there.”
A lack of funding has never stopped her before. Drabot has been self-sufficient since she was 16 and has held down multiple jobs to support herself and pay for her education at UBC-Okanagan, where she completed an undergraduate psychology degree this spring.
Her master’s will focus on empowering women in leadership.
Don MacIntyre, who was Drabot’s principal at McNicoll Park Middle School, is confident she’ll get to Cambridge through sheer force of will.
”More and more of the research you read about what builds successful kids … talks about grit and determination, and she was just chock full of that,” he said.
MacIntyre, now an administrator for the Okanagan Skaha School District, also helped her education along when he could.
“I filled out applications and I wrote letters of reference for her for scholarship opportunities just so she could get an undergrad degree,” he said. “Now she’s finished that and has been accepted to the most prestigious school that you can be for psychology, which is amazing. Absolutely amazing.”
Drabot’s persistence also paid off this June with a $10,000 Pushor Mitchell LLP Gold Medal Leadership Prize in recognition of her volunteerism and community service.
With that money in the bank, she has $40,000 left to raise for Cambridge, which needs to know by the end of July if she’ll be attending in the fall.
If she doesn’t reach her goal, she’ll take time off to work and save money to go later.
But Drabot hopes the community will help her with Plan A.
“The way I see it is, investing in my education is an investment in my commitment to making the world a better place and creating that positive change,” she said.
To donate or find out more about Drabot, visit www.karlydrabot.com.
Donations will be held in trust by Pushor Mitchell and will be returned if she doesn’t reach her goal.