2020 saw a group of young professionals in Toronto and Cape Town launch the Young Professionals Bursary, with the aim of forming a network of young professionals providing mentorship and financial support, in order to grow a supporting network of professionals that seek to foster the best in each other and the future of their peers.
Dr Shaheer Aboobaker, Faculty of Health Science alumnus, spearheaded this project, and here he provides his report on the initial year of the scholarship.
“The Young Professionals’ Bursary was established in 2019 by a group of 4 young, dynamic professionals who shared a common passion for tertiary education opportunities for the previously disadvantaged youth of South Africa and Africa. The aim of which is to create a network of highly educated, motivated professional individuals, leveraging our current networks to assist and mentor these students through their academic years in the hopes that these graduates would then go on to give back to the recipients of the Bursary after them and offer guidance from their more recent experiences.
To this end, 2020 marks our first full year of full financial support to our first two candidates Tiro Hutamo, a fifth year medical student, and partial support of Ola Emeruem, a second year medical student.
Thanks to the unwavering and steadfast support of our passionate founders, we have not only been able to financially support these two bright young minds, but have also connected Tiro to two respected medical specialists, who were both eager to mentor and assist her where possible. Our thanks go out to Dr Shehnaaz Akhalwaya, a young, dynamic leader in the field of Paediatric Nephrology, based at the prestigious Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, a field in which our young student has developed an interest; as well as Dr Yumna Dhansay, a UCT alumnus and a psychiatrist practising in Australia, who has generously offered her time and experience to guide these budding young minds.
I would be remiss not to sincerely thank my fellow founders Ridwaan Haniff, Shiraz Mohideen and Alapan Arnab for their shared vision in this project and passionate support. Without them, this would not be possible.
We also welcome and encourage any like-minded, passionate individuals to join us in trying to make a small difference where we can, with donations of time or money, to help grow this and turn it into something special.
Finally a big thank you to the UCT Canada team, specifically Di Stafford, for her ongoing support of us and our vision. You bring our ideas and dreams to life.”
We very much look forward to being able to update you about 2021 and beyond.
Shaheer Aboobaker, On behalf of the Young Professionals Bursary. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.