Morgan Baker-Tucker '16 Receives Frank H. Sobeys Award
Congratulations, Morgan Baker-Tucker ’16, on receiving the Frank H. Sobey’s Award for Excellence in Business Studies. This distinguished award supports the development of future business leaders and business programs in Atlantic Canadian Universities. Each recipient received $30,000 and the honour of being a Frank H. Sobey’s Award Alumni. Morgan's story is truly inspiring!
Morgan was 15 years old and knew that she needed a change when she decided to submit her application to Halifax Grammar School. “As a youth, I experienced adversity at a young age and was forced to "grow up early" as many of my peers and mentors often say. Moving to Halifax alone at age 16 wasn't a difficult decision for me, and I did everything in my power to ensure that I would be admitted to Grammar.”
Her intention was to play basketball with hopes of playing at the university level someday. She figured attending a well-renowned private school in a university city would allow her to develop and showcase skills. The transition was not easy for Morgan, “At the beginning I felt overwhelmed, I compared myself to my peers academically, socially, and financially for a long time. However, attending Grammar allowed me to step away from the not-so-favourable environment I grew up in and showed me that it was possible for me to live the life I had always dreamt of.”
“Choosing to retake grade 11 in order to get my IB education was a no-brainer for me. I figured it would be easy, and the good grades would just come to me. I was wrong. The educational environment at Grammar is second to none. The teachers care for each individual student on a level that I had never experienced before in my life - in my public school, there often wasn't even enough seats for students, so having a teacher know my name and actually want me to succeed was something I had never experienced before. Although the feeling was unfamiliar, the love and belongingness I felt from the faculty at Grammar was overwhelming, and it was arguably the first time I had felt as if anyone really cared about my future.”
Morgan was not a seasoned "studier" and had many distractions outside of school, which prevented her from giving education her full attention. She is extremely grateful to the teachers at Grammar for believing in her, but one individual in particular helped Morgan truly see her potential. “One teacher, in particular, Sandra Baigent, who is not only a mentor to me now, but a very close friend changed my life. Sandra worked so hard to show me the importance of putting myself and my education first. She made me realize that although I wasn't dealt the best hand of cards, that didn't mean I couldn't make the most out of my situation and leave a positive impact on the world. She took me under her wing and treated me like her own. It was the first time in my life that someone had gone out of their way to make me feel special and loved. Her love and support are the reason why I have been able to be the resilient person I am today.”
Sandra Baigent developed a similar admiration for Morgan, “It was through supervising Morgan for her Extended Essay that I was introduced to the true character of this young woman, who arrived at our school without the personal privileges, parental support, or academic preparation of most of her classmates, but with a level of determination and optimism beyond compare. In my opinion, what has and still sets Morgan apart is her view that all problems, regardless of their nature, have solutions. After she identifies a path forward, she is willing to take the steps necessary, even when it is difficult or uncomfortable, to resolve the challenges she faces. She does not complain, nor does she give up, and she somehow always manages to find humour in her circumstances. While she has willingly accepted guidance from adults who care about her, she truly has earned her achievements.”
Although her dream of playing university basketball didn't come true - Morgan has achieved so much more than she ever would have expected when first moving to Halifax, and she attributes this success to Grammar.
“Looking back, my decision to move to Halifax may have come from a place within me that wanted to run away from my problems, and I thought attending Grammar would allow me to create a new life. Teachers at Grammar, such as Sandra, showed me that I had so much potential and that I should be proud of who I am and where I've come from. Now today, I talk about my past experiences and obstacles I've faced openly and with a smile on my face. The support, love, and respect I received from the faculty at Grammar and the skills that I developed are things I will carry with me for the rest of my life."
Morgan is in her final year of the Entrepreneurship Program at the Sobey's School of Business at Saint Mary's University (SMU), and she has been elected Co-President of the Saint Mary's Commerce Society for the 2021-22 academic year. She will soon begin an independent directed study with Dr. Patricia Bradshaw (previous Dean of Business at SMU), researching non-profit management in Nova Scotia in efforts to educate herself on poverty reduction. “My goal is to work in the non-profit/social enterprise sector here in Nova Scotia, whether it be through creating my own initiative after conducting research on where gaps lie or through working with a current company to help alleviate poverty and form solutions. My mother currently resides at Adsum, and many members of my family have struggled with overcoming poverty and adversity. I feel I've been privileged with an opportunity and a voice to represent those who struggle. I'm passionate about working towards forming actionable solutions for those in need. Ideally, my goal is to figure out how to prevent people from falling into the river versus just pulling them out of the stream.”
We thank Morgan for being open about her past and the challenges she has faced. We look forward to following along in her journey, seeing the amazing things she will accomplish, and hearing about the many lives she will change along the way.