On 21 May, Professional Development Day, UWC Mahindra alumna Stanzin Disket ‘14 visited Dover and East campuses to generously share her experience of being a recipient of the UWCSEA Staff Scholarship Fund.
The transformative Fund was set up over two decades ago, allowing our College staff to personally contribute to furthering the UWC movement. Fully funded by staff donations, the programme boasts support from over 120 members of staff, both teaching and admin. Promising students who come from difficult situations, like Stanzin, are able to attend UWCs in India (Mahindra) and Swaziland (Waterford).
Stanzin was selected to attend Mahindra UWC after being interviewed and selected from four potential applicants. Her experience as a student of UWC Mahindra paints a picture of how far the fund can go to provide UWC’s transformative education to more young people around the world.
A former head girl at Lamdon School, Ladakh, she has dreams to work for the Indian Administrative Service and promote education in Ladakh or to become a doctor. In her sharing, she spoke about a remarkable highlight of her UWC journey: being chosen as an ambassador to organise His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to her hometown of Ladakh, where she met and introduced him to the Ladakh community.
Shared Adam Taylor, Head of Grade 7:
“Stanzin Disket's visit to both the East and Dover Campus was an absolute pleasure and an experience which she seemed truly grateful for. She proved to be full of charm, charisma and personality, providing a unique and fresh outlook to the purpose of the staff scholarship fund. She spoke very honestly and eloquently whilst sharing her life’s journey and her future ambitions. Staff and students took great interest in hearing about her vibrant childhood years growing up in Ladakh to her time spent at Mahindra College, and finally to her acceptance and completion of a well-earned scholarship to St Lawrence University in New York.
Stanzin’s sense of gratitude for having had the opportunity to meet people from all parts of the world, whilst also sharing her own culture, came through very clearly. Furthermore, she acknowledged that these experiences deepened her understanding of other nationalities and empathy for others, shaping and developing her character today. She is a firm believer that a strong work ethic and positive outlook to life is an important factor in all her successes to date. Stanzin currently resides in Delhi. She is continuing her studies with the hopes of getting a job with the Indian government. Ultimately, the dream is that this might lead to her return to Ladakh, her home region, where she can make a positive impact. She is truly grateful to all the staff at UWCSEA for coming together and donating their hard earned money to provide her with such a powerful 'stepping stone' into her adult life.”
Said Nadine Mains, Middle School Head of Grade:
“As Head of Grade 8 next year, we have a Cambodian scholar joining our community and hope to gain as much understanding about this process as we can to support her. In learning about Stanzin's story, her journey to become a scholar, and some of the obstacles upon arriving, we feel better equipped to help our new scholar settle in to our community. For staff to hear Stanzin's story and speak in person to someone whose life has personally been impacted by the Staff Scholarship fund is a true opportunity to live the mission.”
The fund allows many more students the chance to access scholarships to universities around the world. But on top of that, it goes on to also aid our very own National Committee (NC) scholars. Airfare, visas and other costs of transitioning to university are not always included in scholarship awards NC scholars may receive to study abroad. In these instances, the UWCSEA Staff Scholarship Fund steps in to assist in covering these costs, on a needs-basis, ensuring that every scholarship recipient is well-supported.
UWCSEA staff, Olivia White, has been contributing to the scholarship for 17 years. She said, “After so long in the community, this was a perfect moment to reflect and marvel at who we are.”