TWO Ballymena students are set to begin their studies at Queen’s University, Belfast and Stranmillis University College, this month after availing of a scholarship programme delivered in partnership with The Gallaher Trust and Supporting Communities.
The scholarship will support a total of six students over the next six years, who wish to study STEM or business subjects at either Queen’s University, Belfast or Ulster University. As part of the Scholarship, students will receive £2,000 per year to support their studies alongside a one-off payment of £1,500, in the first year, to cover the purchase of IT equipment.
Hailing from Ahoghill, Cameron McCaw is set to undertake an undergraduate degree in Post-Primary Mathematics at Stranmillis University College, while Alex Hamill, from Broughshane, begins his studies in Business Economics, at Queen’s University. Both students said they are delighted to have been awarded scholarship funding and are looking forward to all that university life has to offer.
“I have only recently started my studies at Stranmillis University College,” Cameron said. “I have always been interested in Mathematics and so, when I heard about the Trust’s scholarship programme, I jumped at the chance to apply.
“Attending university and studying this subject will open up so many doors for me in my future career. I can’t thank The Gallaher Trust and Supporting Communities enough for this opportunity.”
Alex added: “Attending university has always been a goal of mine. I’m so proud to have achieved this scholarship and to be studying a course that I wanted to do. I hope that the knowledge and skills that I learn throughout the duration of the course will equip me well for the world of work.
“I would encourage anyone in the Ballymena area, who wants to attend university to study a STEM or business-based subject, to apply for TheGallaher Trust’s Scholarship Programme.”
Elsewhere, Ian Paisley MP, Chairman of The Gallaher Trust’s Board of Trustees says that scholarship programmes like these go a long way towards helping local students fulfil their full potential.
“Scholarship programmes can be a vital way of encouraging local students to attend university and to achieve their fullest potential, which is what TheGallaher Trust is all about,” Roy said.
“Northern Ireland has long since been associated with stellar students who perform extremely highly year on year and affording opportunities like this ensures that this can continue.
“Allowing students a chance to study at a local university may also prevent further ‘brain drains’ from occurring. We often see students who choose to study elsewhere in the UK or Ireland, deciding to remain as they begin their careers. It’s essential that local students are able to avail of theopportunities that are right on their doorstep if we are to maintain a pool of talented and well qualified individuals.”
Stephen Marks, Business Development Advisor at Supporting Communities added: “We’re so proud to be able to deliver this scholarship on behalf of The Gallaher Trust.
“At Supporting Communities, our mission is to achieve just that – to support our local communities from a grass roots level, helping to establish a supportive, active and cohesive society. We hope that this scholarship will help to achieve this and more for our young people.
“We’re pleased to see that Cameron and Alex are settling well into their studies and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them – we have no doubt it will be very bright.”
Two students per year will be chosen to participate in the scholarship programme. Although applications have now closed for this year, applications for the 2023/2024 academic year will open in 2023. Applicants must be studying a STEM or Business subject and be from the Ballymena area to apply.
To find out more about the work of the Trust visit: www.thegallahertrust.org.