Scholarship programme

From Senegal to Stanford – a UWCSEA scholar story

When I was in Senegal, I was always curious about the world around me. One summer while taking some classes in the capital city, I came to find out about a UWC scholarship. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to better myself and receive a world-class education. I successfully applied and that was when my life changed significantly.

UWCSEA presented a world of opportunities that would have been out of reach for me in my home country. Coming from a place where the education system is very basic, I cameto realise that academic success is not the only way to define a student’s ability. The College not only provided a great education, but it helped me to blossom into someone useful and enabled me to see the world and understand how I can make a positive contribution to society.

In Grade 11, I was selected to participate in the Initiative for Peace conference held in Timor-Leste. The experience highlighted the different issues happening around the world and inspired me to travel around the villages in Chiang Mai, Thailand during Project Week, where I taught the English language. Seeing the world from new perspectives shaped my thinking and influenced the path I plan to take in the future.

Without the UWCSEA scholarship, I would not be the person I am today – let alone be offered on full scholarship with Mastercard at Stanford University in the USA. I am now into my third week of the Autumn Semester and I want to say how much I miss the people, my people. I loved every single moment spent in Singapore, in the school and what I experienced there will forever shape what I do next. I am extremely grateful I got the chance to belong to such a vibrant community, full of energy, compassion, hope, qualities. I do believe that if more young people have the opportunity to experience what I did, issues like racism, inequality, hatred, violence, terrorism, or corruption would no longer exist.

A great big thank you to UWCSEA community for enabling me to have such a wonderful journey.

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Ibrahima Tounkara
UWCSEA Dover Class of 2015
UWC National Committee Scholar from Senegal

Ibrahima’s two-year IB Diploma scholarship was made possible thanks to a generous donor.