A first-year UPEI student is the inaugural recipient of an academic award.
Fairouz Gaballa, who is pursuing a bachelor of arts with a major in psychology, received the 2019 Hilda Ramsay Student Award, the NDP P.E.I. women's committee announced recently.
Gaballa, who moved to the Island from Egypt in 2011, said being the recipient of the award is a “wonderful opportunity”.
"It definitely motivates me to work harder and strive academically," said Gaballa, who is studying to become a psychologist.
"Skipping grade 12 and meeting the requirements for this award wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the women's committee, my mom, (Walaa Nasry), my sister, (Roula Gaballa) and, of course, a couple of wonderful teachers I had at Colonel Gray High School."
The annual award of $500 is granted to a female-identified student who is pursuing study at UPEI or Holland College.
Preference is given to a student in financial need with a demonstrated interest in social justice, women/diversity studies, Indigenous, environmental studies, political studies or the trades.
Susan MacVittie, committee chairwoman, said the award vetting process was difficult because many students struggle financially.
“There were many diverse stories and situations,” said MacVittie.
“We know female-identified students struggle more to pay back student loans due to the gender wage gap. That gap also widens for racialized, immigrant and indigenous women and women
with disabilities. I wish we could have helped everyone who applied, and I encourage them to apply again next year."
For more information about the award or the work of the committee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.