New scholarship program supports Black Canadian students at UBC

A new scholarship program is providing both financial and institutional support for Black Canadian students at UBC.

The Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Canada that provides both scholarships and a range of integrated institutional supports to help provide a pathway to success for Black Canadian students at UBC. Through the program, UBC students can access a variety of one-time and renewable awards of up to $80,000 as well as programming that aims to build community among Black students at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses through events, panel sessions, and more.

The program welcomed its first cohort of 13 students at the start of the academic year in September 2021. Among the students is Nejat Alhussan, who says receiving a Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Award helped ease the financial burden of moving across the country from Ontario to pursue her studies at UBC Okanagan. Alhussan, who is studying science, says she hopes to pursue a career in medicine one day.

“The Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program has alleviated the financial stress of post-secondary education so I can focus on my studies,” she says. “Thanks to the program, I have a support network and feel like I’m not on this journey alone. It feels like I am a step closer to achieving my goal of pursuing a career in medicine.”

For UBC Sauder School of Business student Burrell Atkinson, becoming a Beyond Tomorrow Scholar is an opportunity to create meaningful relationships with his fellow scholars at UBC while also giving back to his community.

“I’m proud to be a Beyond Tomorrow Scholar, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve as a role model to the next generation of scholars,” he says.

Beyond Tomorrow Scholars have the opportunity to participate in dedicated programming with wrap-around cross-campus support that is shaped by five pillars of success: academic and career, leadership, community and belonging, financial, and health and wellbeing. Phase 1 of the program aims to support more than 100 students in the next four years, with the potential for further growth as funds are secured and the program develops.

The Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program is supported by donors and partners, including Black Opportunity Fund, which set up two awards for Black students to attend UBC. Through the participation of the supporters of Black Opportunity Fund, students will have access to opportunities for collaboration, leadership, and the exchange of ideas, both within the program and as they transition into life after university.

Learn more about the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program and anti-racism initiatives at UBC.