“A student of life is the most difficult position to be in”

By Lucy Gordon and Nicole O’Neill

One individual that stood out amongst the delegates was Rose Henry. A street vendor for Victoria Street Newz, Canada, Rose’s story echoed throughout the duration of the conference.

Rose has come a long way in the last few years. After losing her job of eight years in a women’s homeless shelter Rose too became homeless. She began searching for another job but found that her age and lack of formal education hindered her in finding employment. It was during this difficult time that she came across Victoria Street Newz.

With them she began selling the street paper and developed her own passion for writing. From this she was introduced to Homeless Nation, an ogranisation which helps homeless people to share their stories through mediums such as blogs and video productions, created by themselves.

Rose would go to any lengths to write her stories. Frequently visiting the local library and often slipped into university and college classrooms. She said people used to ask “Are you not a student?” and would reply “I am a student, I am a student of life, which is one of the most difficult situations to be in”.

Acting both as a street vendor and representative for Victoria Street Newz, Rose fundraised for transport to and accommodation at the conference. Raising over 2000 Canadian dollars she explained her gratitude to the INSP who started the ball rolling with a small donation.

On the third day of the conference, during her presentation of Homeless Nation, Rose was presented with a brand new laptop from the Norwegian Journalists. They had seen Rose frantically writing notes by hand during the conference and after reading her blog decided her enthusiasm for writing should be awarded. Her biggest wish was to own her own laptop, so now Rose can leave the conference and continue to do what she does best.

On a final note, one main principle Rose has maintained throughout her life is you just have to go out there and achieve your own dreams, giving inspiration to all aspiring journalists regardless of their circumstances.