Miranda Belansky (middle) is pictured on her convocation day with two of her professors, Nancy Bellantino left), and Patricia Drozdoski (right).
Miranda Belansky knows first-hand how hard work and determination can, against all odds, make dreams come true.
That’s because the recent graduate of Niagara College’s Law Clerk program is doing just that.
When Belansky walked across that platform on June 22 at NC’s Spring Convocation Ceremony with her Law Clerk diploma in hand, she was already excited about beginning the next phase of her life as a student at the prestigious Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.
While she had always wanted to be a lawyer since she was a child, the dream seemed out of reach for Belansky until very recently.
The Welland resident became a single mother while still in high school, which made it difficult for her to pursue post-secondary education. She eventually found work at the casino, and it was there that she met her husband, who was also employed there. Their family grew. They had four children and two step-children when they both lost their jobs.
That was when Belansky gave serious consideration to her career goals and enrolled in the College’s law clerk program.
“It was really hard at times, with having a family at home and taking on bartending jobs to get by,” she said. “One of my professors would encourage me to continue on, saying ‘you’re too smart to be a bartender for the rest of your life.’”
Belansky not only got by, she thrived. She managed to achieve high marks in her classes. Her determination to get into law school led her to drive to Toronto – despite never having been there before in her life – walk into the downtown courthouse to find the best co-op placement possible to boost her application to law school.
She wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, even when doors were shut in her face or people would hang up on her. Eventually, her work paid off and she had the opportunity to work her co-op term for the federal crown prosecution service of Canada. Because the lawyer she worked for is visually impaired, Belansky had the opportunity to do what most interns rarely have a chance to do, present in court.
“It was an amazing opportunity for me,” she said.
She completed her LSAT test and with an impressive co-op experience under her belt, Belansky applied to Osgoode Hall, aware the chances were slim for her to even get an interview.
She got an interview.
“The worst part was knowing that it could be weeks after the interview before I would find out whether or not I was accepted,” she said.
The very next day, Belansky got the news of her life – she was accepted.
Belansky plans to commute to Osgoode Hall from her home in Welland until she completes her studies at Osgoode Hall. While she knows that the road ahead of her will be challenging, she is embracing what the future has in store.
“It’s a dream come true for me,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without NC.”