When you give to Student Support you are investing in students' lives
The profiles below speak for themselves. From cancer studies to engineering, and from human rights law to conservation, students engage in wide-ranging learning and research. All of them are amazed and grateful to be here, and the Brookes Alumni Fund has played a significant part in their life paths.
Each year’s students have new aspirations and potential – which you can help to unlock. By partnering with students through your support you are not just changing their lives, you are becoming part of the solutions and advances they will go on to make.
Nardos Engeda, LLM (Masters in Law)
Brookes Alumni Fund Scholar 2014-15
I knew I was meant to do the Masters. It motivated me to be the person I am meant to be and pursue my goal"
Nardos is currently at Brookes studying for an LLM (Masters in Law), and is majoring in International Human Rights Law. She is inspiring to talk to, and is full of wonder and delight that her life dream is actually becoming a reality.
Nardos had to leave Ethiopia at the age of eight after her mother had fled the country two years before. Her mother, a journalist, had challenged the regime, but managed to escape to Kenya. Her colleagues are still in prison 17 years later.
While in Kenya human rights lawyers worked with the family to find them somewhere safe to live, which turned out to be the UK. Nardos was so fascinated and inspired by them that it has been her ambition to be a human rights lawyer since the age of 9 years old. She had to study in a new language in Kenya for four years, and then moved schooling levels again when they moved to the UK. She has had to make up two years of schooling after hours, and still managed to get her A levels and degree.
In Nardos’s own words, “At the age of eight I used to observe the Human Rights lawyers doing their best to protect and fight for people like my mother. During an interview with them, their passion and determination, their very presence in a room inspired me and at the age of nine I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. Following their effort under the UN, my family and I had the privilege of settling in England in 2007.
Having moved so much as a child, this was finally home. I could now settle and pursue my aspiration. Since then I have worked twice as hard in school and college to catch up and get to the level everyone else was at, in order to secure a career in International Human Rights Law. The walk hasn't been easy but being at the position I am in now, on the LLM course at Brookes, in Oxford makes every struggle worth enduring.”
Nardos described how she was on the verge of turning down her place here because of not having the money to make initial payments before her loans came through, when she got the email about the Brookes Alumni Fund Scholarship. She had to read it three times before it sank in! Without it she would not be here.
"I was in no position to afford anything towards the course and I was on the verge of giving up when I got an email from Brookes to say that I had got the Brookes Alumni Fund Scholarship. It was the exact amount I needed for the deposit. This changed everything.
Chris Wiggs – MSc in Primate Conservation
Brookes Alumni Fund Scholar 2014-15
Chris has already been working for primate conservation charities, but has had a strong desire to have a greater impact. Having worked in Indonesia he has first-hand experience of the conflict between conservation and industry, and haow that can be obstructive an counterproductive to both. He has a strong vision for finding ways to enable industry and environmentalists to work together for the benefit of both animals and humans.
In that he does not have an undergraduate degree it has been a particular opportunity – and challenge – for Chris to start straight in at post-graduate level. He started with a post-graduate diploma and is now doing a Masters, for which he has received the BAF scholarship.
He takes up the story in his own words: “I have spent the last few years working with primate conservation charities in the UK, Thailand and Indonesia, and have always been familiar with the course and the work of the staff at Oxford Brookes. I was working with students from Brookes and talked to Professor Anna Nekaris about the possibility of studying here, and she was very supportive, encouraging me to do a Post-Graduate Diploma in Anthropology, despite not having an undergraduate degree.
I'm now really enjoying the MSc course. The staff are really supportive, the modules are interesting and relevant to in-situ conservation and I feel like I’m learning things that will be useful in my future career.
As I went straight in to post-graduate study I have not been eligible for student loans, so have had to fund my studies with personal savings and career development loans through the bank. Receiving the scholarship helped me enormously, meaning I had to apply for a smaller loan and taking a lot of the stress and pressure out of the process.
I was seriously doubting whether I could afford to do this MSc, so just being given the scholarship has allowed me to be here. There are exciting possibilities for my MSc dissertation and possible future employment or PHD opportunities.
I think the Brookes Alumni Fund Scholarships scheme is fantastic and I am really grateful to the alumni who have given money. It's made a big difference to my financial situation and future opportunities and it would be great if this opportunity is available to people in the future.
Hlaing Moh Moh Thu - ‘Moh’ – MSc in Cancer Studies
Brookes Alumni Fund Scholar 2014-15
Moh is a very unassuming character, delightful to chat to, and yet has the ambition and intention to make a significant difference to others.
Medicine has been a driving force in Moh’s life since the age of six, when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she wished she could treat her. Therefore now to be doing cancer studies is a major step towards her intention of becoming an oncologist.
Moh has also particularly appreciated the module on communicating with the patient and their family. Having been on the receiving end of that she well knows the impact cancer has on the person and their family, and how the personal impact goes far beyond the medical issues. In her career she hopes to be able to bring care on many levels to the patients she will treat, and to their families.
However her dream and passion is to develop new treatments or therapies, and when she talks about that possibility her face lights up with inspiration and hope. This MSc is therefore a major step towards that goal, and the scholarship has been a significant help in her being able to study at Brookes in this way.
I believe that education, and the opportunity to learn is one of the most valuable gifts one can receive, and the BAF has blessed me with this gift."
During her undergraduate years Elena also worked tutoring in schools and teaching at a local language school. "To be able to teach, and watch the children learn and grow, and how much of an impact one can make on a child’s life as a teacher is amazing."
So Elena applied for a Masters at Brookes and, thanks to the BAF Scholarship, was able to take up her place this year. She is absolutely thriving on the course, and has particular interest in the dynamics and role of friendships in Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as art and other forms of therapy working with special needs and autistic children.
"The scholarship has given me the opportunity to learn and explore my passion for working with and understanding young children. It also gave me an extra boost of confidence, in taking an extra step towards my future career. Those who have given may not be able to see the difference they have made on a daily basis, but just like with teaching children, the difference will be noticeable.
Thanks to the BAF and the alumni who have donated I, and all those who have received support from the fund, will be one step closer to accomplishing our goals, and helping us to make a difference in the world.
Patience studied the MSc part-time by distance learning so she was able to continue working as a Registered Nurse in the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
"From 2008 to date, I have worked as a Registered Nurse with the Cancer Diseases Hospital dealing with the cancer patients. In 2010, I gained interest in palliative care and started devoting 50 percent of my time establishing and working in the palliative care department.
I would love to lecture palliative care to the students undertaking training. I look forward to forming a well-established Palliative Care department at Cancer Diseases Hospital.
Thank you so much for awarding me the scholarship. It has greatly assisted me to commence my studies, as I am still searching for more sponsorship to enable me complete my masters’ studies." (Patience now has additional funding from another generous donor to Oxford Brookes who supports palliative care training in Africa.) "Moreover, the scholarship has enabled me to undertake training at Oxford Brookes University which is the University of my dream.
Currently I am the only palliative care nurse at my institution. Palliative care is a new field in Zambia, so I would like to advance in my studies of palliative care so that I may practice it with excellent skills and knowledge and also educate my fellow colleagues and patients who are not aware of it. This will make them appreciate its importance when it is incorporated in the health care system.
"I’m extremely grateful and humbled by the scholarship and its funding towards my Masters. The generous support from the Brookes Alumni really makes a meaningful difference. However, there is only so much gratitude one can express through words. Therefore, I have striven to express my thanks by gaining as much experience as possible while performing to my full academic potential during my Masters."
"I’ve always held a keen interest in history and in architecture and so discovering the field of historic building conservation which was a combination of both excited me greatly.
Buildings of the past have stood the test of time and they each have a story to tell, a past to reveal and a future to look forward to so long as it is cared for in a respectful manner. The MSc in Historic Conservation will provide me with a fundamental understanding of the complexities of conservation, enabling me to be a part of this exciting field.
I am thoroughly enjoying every aspect of the course, even the tight deadlines! The variety of the course has pushed me out of my comfort zone and I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn about design within the historic environment and the important legislative framework that underpins conservation. We are introduced to a number of guest lecturers and the course is well established within the field and so the opportunity to gain contacts is invaluable.
The scholarship has made a huge difference to my studies and my life. It has relieved the financial stress and has allowed me thus far to focus solely on my studies; something which I have found invaluable both in terms of achieving high grades and immersing myself in concentrating on my future career.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to the alumni who have given to the Brookes Alumni Fund. Without this funding I would have found it very difficult financially to undertake the course. I hope all those people who have contributed understand just how much of a difference the scholarship has made to my life and to my career, and I sincerely thank you. The year is going so quickly, I don’t want this opportunity to end!"
"I really enjoyed my undergraduate studies in Engineering and I wanted to gain some more knowledge in the techniques that are applied in Motorsport. Motorsport has always been one of my passions and to be able to have a job related with it would be a dream come true.
I am really enjoying the course as we have really good lecturers with a lot of experience in the Motorsport world. Moreover, studying this MSc is specially interesting as Brookes has a very good reputation in terms of Motorsport and a lot of contacts with different companies.
Having the scholarship lets me focus only on my studies and try to get good grades. That way I have more chance to be hired by a good company. It is also great because it gives you more self-confidence.
I really appreciate those who have given to the Brookes Alumni Fund as I have now a good opportunity of studying the thing that I really love in one of the best universities in the world. It’s a great source of motivation."
"I am so very grateful to all those involved in the awarding and funding of my scholarship. It has meant I have been able to continue down my desired career route, which might not have been possible without this support. I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity.
"At the outset of the course, I was dead-set on Educational Psychology. However, the MSc has made me think about other possible avenues including Clinical Psychology and even doing a Research PhD. Additionally, getting the opportunity to work with academics and researchers in the field is wonderful and offers up other areas of contact and opportunity.
"Getting to do this course has made a profound difference to my life and life choices so far. In fact, given that I need BPS accreditation (gained from doing this course) to become a trained psychologist, if I hadn't got onto the MSc I simply would not have been able to follow my preferred professional route."
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