Fund helps Mena to achieve his dreams

For Mena Guirguis, the Hope Winch Benevolence Fund was the crucial financial safety net that allowed him to concentrate on his studies.

The Canadian student moved to Sunderland to study Pharmacy with the hope of pursuing his dream career however, due to financial pressures, found himself having to work extra and study less in order to support himself.  

At one point, Mena was balancing working four part-time jobs alongside his Pharmacy degree. Although he was able to continue on the course, he was unable to spend the necessary time on his studies to ensure he was working to the best of his ability.

The funding he received from the Hope Winch Benevolence Fund eased the financial burden placed upon him, allowing him to reduce his work hours and pour more time into studying ahead of the all-important final year exams.

“I cannot presume to know what would have happened had I not received this scholarship, but what I can say with complete certainty is that I am confident in my clinical knowledge and I feel prepared for the next steps of my life as a health care professional,” he said.

The extra time spent on his work has given Mena more confidence in his ability and prepared him for a career in health care, something which would not have been possible without the support offered to him through the fund. 

He added:  “Had I not won this financial aid award, I don't think I would after my time at the University have felt as confident in my clinical knowledge as I would have been unable to prioritise my studies as every student should.”

 After graduating, Mena has returned to Canada with the hope of starting his career. He remains thankful to the Fund and those that supported him throughout his time at University, and added that he is willing and ready to take on any new challenges he may face.

“The Hope Winch Benevolence Scholarship was the difference between a prepared professional and an unprepared student being thrown into the real world. 

“I’d like to thank the Hope Winch Benevolence Fund and its donors. Due to your generosity, I leave Sunderland prepared and ready for the real world.”

Article written by Matthew Shevlin, University of Sunderland Journalism graduate.  

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