By Carly Milloy, Director of Advancement
Class Year Scholarships (or Class Campaigns) are a great way for Pearson College UWC alumni to give back to the College by directly supporting current students. Pearson Class Years that take on this initiative raise funds to support at least one student scholarship for their two full years at the College.
Class Year Scholarships are another way alumni can help the College honour our commitment to deliberate diversity. Often, these scholarships help support students who come from regions of conflict or who have refugee backgrounds or challenging socioeconomic circumstances. Today, 89 per cent of Pearson students attend on full or partial scholarships.
Our vision for the future of Pearson includes the development of reliable and continuous funding for student scholarships. One of the best ways to do this, and to deepen the connection alumni have with current students, is through Class Year Scholarships.
Last year, four classes (Years 12, 13, 14 & 15) successfully took on this challenge funding students from Mauritius, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Palestine and Venezuela. Recently, these students shared their stories with us and we are delighted to share these with readers of Pearson eNews!
Class Year Scholarships rely on alumni volunteers. If you would like to take part in your Class Year Scholarship, contact Luisa Vasquez at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a contribution towards your Class Year Scholarship, simply donate online at: www.pearsoncollege.ca/donate. Thank you!
Antonio is from Honduras. He is the ideal Pearson student — highly intelligent and motivated to make a difference in the world. He excels at mathematics and represented his high school on the Math Olympics Team. His math teacher back home described him as confident and eager to learn. Antonio is committed to excellence and shows a great sense of responsibility in his relationships with peers and teachers. He is a member of the Pearson College Emergency Response Team (PCERTS) — a position that comes with a demanding level of training and responsibility for the safety of the campus community, and Antonio has already in his first year exceed the expectations of this role. Antonio also loves to play the French Horn and contributes his musical talents to the Pearson performing arts activities year-round.
Antonio cares deeply about his country. He says that the most important thing for him is to change the world’s perspective towards Honduras. He wants to make people see that Honduras is a beautiful country with a rich culture. Pearson is a great fit for his love of the outdoors and desire to be socially and environmentally responsible. From an early age, his biggest goal in life was to be part of the UWC movement. He heard about UWC through his older brother who said his experience had been life-changing. Antonio’s advisor notes that his positive spirit comes through in all that he does, and that he genuinely appreciates the diverse opportunities offered to him at the College.
Mohammad wrote, “I am a Palestinian refugee and I had been living in Syria for 12 years before moving to Lebanon in 2012 because of the war. To me, studying at Pearson is a dream that has been achieved. Here, I can learn more about myself and form consistent elements in my personality as a person, a student, as well as member of the community. Moreover, interaction with my peers from all over the world through extracurricular activities changes my perspective on the world.
As an individual, I learned to be organized, self-dependent, active, ambitious, and self-confident. As a student, I learned how to be a good listener, critical thinker, hardworking, time investor as well as patient to achieve my goals. As a community member, I learned responsibility, voluntary work, social activity, commitment, and equality. I learned to create my own sustainable future regardless of others who may not embrace this concept as a force to protect mother nature and its resources.
Although I am living in a rural area, I feel that I am living in a new world that allows us to apply these values and to approach the latent facts in ourselves and in our world as well. These are the values that I have learned and experienced during my first year. All in all, I think these values can help me to achieve my goals and to be a good person.
I feel so grateful to all the people who helped me get here and as much as I thank them, I can’t give them their efforts back but I will never forget these efforts. I want to tell you, that you have opened a window for me to the world and one day I will give your efforts back to the community and the world.
I was born and raised in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela. I decided to come to Pearson College UWC because I saw an immense opportunity in joining the UWC Movement, where academics are only a part of the learning you get because they are combined with all the life stories, personal experiences and cultures you get to meet when you live with people from all around the world.
In my first year, my standard level courses were English, Marine Science, Theory of Knowledge and Math with higher level courses Spanish Literature, History and Economics. I was in diving and I got certified as an open water diver. I was also in Social Environmental Justice, an activist group. I’m really passionate about politics, public policy and global affairs. As such, I’m involved in activities such as student-led Global Affairs discussions, and I led a group of classmates an initiative called Pearson Politics (P-POL) to open space to discuss and exercise political and civic engagement on campus.
One thing that surprised me the most about Pearson College is the immense diversity of daily routines people can have around the world. Indeed, cultural diversity is something we all know about, but it is impressive how you can tell the difference with little things. One of my challenges has been language engagement, but I’ve managed to learn a lot through it. I cannot thank you enough for making it possible for me to be here. Pearson College is a beacon of light that can truly light the world and I am determined to learn all that I can here to make the world a better place in any way possible.
I wanted to go to a UWC because I’ve always wanted something more and I found it here. I wanted to make change in the world and I am surrounded by people who are going to help me in this goal. I thought I was a very open-minded person but my mind has opened more since I’ve come here — especially when it comes to learning and respecting other people’s cultures, perspectives and beliefs. I am learning to become more independent and this is necessary for when I will go to university and when I start to live on my own, I will be more responsible.
Thank you so much. I am very grateful for what you have let me experience. There are not enough words to express my gratitude. If I got to speak to you in person, I would be crying with gratitude! Thank you so much — you make people’s dreams come true. You have shown that you still believe that there is hope in this world by putting your faith in us. Thank you and I promise you, I wot let you down and I’m sure it’s the same for everyone here.
I come from a country where there is a lack of autonomy or freedom given to students in terms of managing their own education and where education is only very academics-focused. Pearson College offers the exact opposite, and instead focuses on my ability as a young individual to make this world a better place – something more to my liking.
I was most surprised by how despite having completely incompatible backgrounds, many of us still find common ground to establish some form of a friendship. I did not expect everyone (students, staff and residents) to go out of their way to create an inclusive and accommodating environment.
Pearson has already shown me my biases and allowed me to find clarity in my thoughts on how I feel about many social and political issues around the world. I have learned to manage my social circles, my time, to be more proactive and to keep an open mind.
This is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. Thank you!
Marien is from Nicaragua and is everything that the College looks for in a student. She was a student of excellence in her local high school with an average score of higher than 95 per cent. She has participated and performed in cultural events as a dancer, singer and poet. Her school principal said that her personality and character proved her capacity for teamwork and leadership. She is interested in spirituality and was part of a spiritual group that traveled to the Nicaraguan countryside.
Marien is finding the IB diploma sufficiently challenging for her academic talents, and her teachers find her both responsible and enthusiastic. She has worked very hard to improve her English language skills in this new environment, and her English teacher has already highlighted her abilities as a powerful writer. She has found an outlet for her creative energy through Visual Arts, focusing on her exposure to new art techniques, and as a member of the Pearson Dancers. Marien is an active member of a service group that promotes education outside the classroom and beyond borders, helping to raise funds for a primary school project in Kenya.