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Mariam and Darya

Mariam and Darya are two young women who thought they'd never be able to pursue their dreams of education.

One of the ways we support refugee students is through our partnership with the Schwab & Westheimer Trust. We administer and promote their university scholarships and that the seven current scholars and all the other applicants get the help they need to move forward in their education.

Mariam arrived in the UK at the age of 17 from Pakistan as an asylum seeker. Being granted a scholarship to study an MPharm Pharmacy has allowed Mariam to pursue her dream.


"The scholarship offers me the one and the only thing that I have been genuinely wanting in my whole life. Now that I think about my education, it has been the only thing I have planned since my childhood. It's that one thing that would be my choice, which would characterise my personality and will help me make a better choice for me and my family. I am the first girl in my family who has this chance to explore this tremendous experience of going to university. I had planned and dreamed about every step of my education and this scholarship has brought that dream to me.

"If I would drop my studies from my life I don’t think there is anything left in my life to do. The most beautiful thing about education and learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

Darya is another scholar who is currently in her second year of university studying Pharmacy. She came to the UK from Afghanistan when she was 16. Without being awarded the scholarship she wouldn't have been able to continue her education. As for many others in that situation, it was particularly difficult for her when she found out she was not eligible for student finance.


"It was a golden opportunity for me. I feel blessed to be awarded this amazing scholarship. Before finding out about the Westheimer award, I struggled a lot to carry on my education... I cannot describe my feelings in words on how pleased I am with this scholarship. It has given me what I had dreamt about. I am only 3 years away from fulfilling my dream. Nothing was possible if I wasn't a Westheimer scholar. To me and my family this scholarship is a miracle.”

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