Undergraduate Studies Bursary First Cohort of Recipients

In March, the Barzilai Foundation launched their Undergraduate Studies Bursary in collaboration with Bayside School, Westside School, Gibraltar College of Further Education, and the EV Foundation. We are proud to announce that the inaugural recipients of this bursary have been selected.

The Foundation created this bursary to help high-potential students that come from lower-income households by alleviating some of the financial pressures that accompany pursuing a degree. While Gibraltar residents are provided support for their education, the cost of living in other countries is often substantially higher, creating a financial stressor for candidates. Numerous studies have shown a strong correlation between success in higher education and a student’s concern about finances, meaning that a student’s aptitude and work ethic are not the only drivers to degree completion and long-term financial stability.

By breaking down the financial barrier, this bursary levels the playing field for students that come from low-income households and have proven themselves to have strong work-ethic and a passion to improve themselves through higher education. Our initial cohort of 9 recipients includes individuals who have known external challenges that would make attending university and completing a degree more difficult, but who aspire to not have their lives defined by these challenges. Some of these challenges are:

  • A student whose father suffers from a serious medical condition that has left him with ongoing disability and care needs that required the family to relocate several times in search of sufficient care. Despite the emotional stress and disruption the student has excelled in their studies completing 11 GCSEs.
  • A student who has overcome multiple personal health issues that has disrupted their life and education and has performed at top levels in their GCSEs and is sitting for 5 A-levels.
  • A student who has excelled in their studies while also supporting her single-parent household through part-time employment at an accounting firm.
  • A student who showed great maturity at a young age, realizing they were not on a path to qualify for university and to not have the life they wanted, the student got a part-time job to be able to afford private tutoring. The student is now poised to be the first in their family to attend university and is looking toward a career in healthcare.
  • A student who lost her father at a young age and was adopted by her grandparents at age 7, who knows that a university degree will enable a path to in-turn take care of those grandparents as they age.

“We are very proud to be supporting these students. Every single one of them made the choice to continue their studies, and pursue a university degree,” said Brandon Sosa, CEO of the Barzilai Foundation. “At any point over the past couple years it could have been easy for them to stop their studies, to go and get whatever jobs their GCSEs would allow them and be content. But each of them wants more from themselves and their lives. Moving challenges out of the way for them is what our foundation is about.”