Helping young people to aspire and older people to thrive

Case Study: Meheret Hddisalem

My name is Meheret Hddisalem and I was born in Eritrea in 1994. My mother passed away during childbirth and unfortunately I have no siblings. My father was an engineer who managed to secure work in Egypt for a private company. After living in Egypt for several years we had to leave and return to Eritrea due to my father falling ill.

Shortly after returning to Eritrea, I had to leave once again due to religious conflicts. After a long journey and crossing many borders I arrived in England in 2011. When I came here I had no family or friends. Luckily I was supported by Westminster City Council as a ‘looked after’ child.

Whilst studying BTEC Extended Diploma in Civil Engineering at City of Westminster College, I realised that Civil Engineering was what I wanted to do as career, so I applied for the Civil Engineering course at Kingston University in 2015. I was very happy when I got accepted on to the course but worried at the same time, as we all know living in London is extremely expensive. I was informed about a scholarship award designed to help fund people like me from low income backgrounds whilst studying at university. I applied for the scholarship with little hope that I would be chosen. However, to my excitement I was. Thanks to the Sir Simon Milton Foundation who generously awarded me a £10,000 Scholarship, I no longer have to worry about my living expenses whilst at university as the scholarship covers this.

As one of only three women on my course I was determined to succeed in the field of civil engineering and with living expenses no longer being a burden, I can now concentrate and give 150% to my studies. I am sincerely grateful to the Sir Simon Milton Foundation for giving me the chance to get closer to achieve my goals and dreams. I would recommend others to apply for the Sir Simon Milton Scholarship as it really has helped me in so many ways.

Image © Alice Rosenbaum