09:15 AM

Mohawk Journalism student awarded prestigious Michael Monty Scholarship

Written by Samantha Hoover (first-year Journalism, Mohawk College)

First-year Journalism student Jillianne King-Goddard receives Michael Monty Scholarship from Ontario Association of Broadcasters First-year Journalism student Jillianne King-Goddard receives Michael Monty Scholarship from Ontario Association of Broadcasters

When first-year Mohawk College journalism student Jillianne King-Goddard won the prestigious Michael Monty Scholarship from the Ontario Association of Broadcasters Monday, it was a proud moment – but it also represented a victory in her struggle against a hidden hardship.

In addition to being one of the most talented and hard-working students in the journalism program, Jillianne has also battled mental illness.

Jillianne was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (with anxiety/dissociative behaviours) in 2011 after being admitted into a psychiatric unit for suicidal tendencies.

She struggled with mental health during her youth, but her condition started to worsen when she was 19. Eventually she was too physically weak and anxiety-ridden to leave her house.

Despite these obstacles Jillianne has used her determination to succeed and her strength of character to build a life as a successful student and leader at Mohawk College. And her goal of becoming a journalist has been a driving force.

That drive was recognized by the OAB during its annual Career Day on Monday. She won the Michael Monty Scholarship in recognition of her academic excellence and extensive volunteer work.

“I’m very humbled because I know it’s such a big honour,” says Jillianne. “I know there are many other students that work really hard on a daily basis.”

Volunteering is a huge part of Jillianne’s life. She gives her time to a wide variety of organizations, from the Aids Crisis Response Team, to assisting disadvantaged women in Uganda launch their own businesses.

“Because people have invested so much in me, I want to be that difference in someone else’s life,” she says. “I want to be somebody who inspires other people or gives them what they need to also see a purpose for themselves.”

Jillianne’s professors saw her commitment to the community from the moment she applied to Mohawk.

“When I saw her application, I thought she was much older than she was, simply because of the amount of volunteer work she had done,” says Mohawk College Journalism Coordinator Kurt Muller. “She’s been a real asset to the program, and a pleasure to have in class.”

Jillianne is open about her struggle with Bipolar Disorder. She wants her story to help end the stigma over mental illness, and help others get the support they need.

“For me, having people believe in me is a huge part of continuing to thrive,” she says. “They can help me carry my load when I don’t have the strength to anymore.”