Queen Mary Alumni

Student Story: Sadad Mahir

Sadad is a BSc Accounting and Management student. He accepted a place to study at Queen Mary after obtaining A, A and B in his A Levels (Economics, History and, Government and Politics). Sadad is a former care leaver and lives in Newham.

Sadad Mahir, Annual Fund Scholarship recipient 2019

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"I was born in a village in Bangladesh and was sent to the UK in 2009. I came to this country alone, with no family and was unknown to almost everyone. Since arriving, I have been looked after by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and have lived with three different foster families. Now that I’m 18, I live in ‘Staying Put’ accommodation with my current carer under Tower Hamlets Leaving Care Authority. When I first came to the UK I didn’t know how to speak English and struggled to adjust to the community around me, it was all very tough. I slowly started understanding the language and was able to adapt. It hasn’t always been easy for me. I always have to think about my next steps and look out for myself. But, I always strive to keep busy and better myself through academia and sports such as boxing.

"My course on Accounting and Management is going well, at the moment we’re revisiting knowledge that I learned during my A Levels. I’m looking forward to the challenges that second and third year of my degree will bring. My main reason for choosing Queen Mary as a place to study is because it’s a Russell Group university and local to me. The University has moved up in rankings in recent times and I think it’s a place that will offer me lots of opportunities.

"Finances for me have been tight, I’m always thinking about how much things cost and question if I need to buy it. It is difficult because I often work overtime in my part-time job so I can support myself. I was so happy to be awarded the Queen Mary Annual Fund Scholarship and am so excited to be getting this kind of help from our generous alumni. The award has eased my stress, given me stability and helped me balance my study/work life. I have used my scholarship to cover my travel costs for the year and buy books for my module as they are quite expensive.

"I think financial worries weigh heavily on most students, especially those who come from a low-income household and care leavers like me. We’re always worrying about how to survive on a day-to-day basis, stressing about income and that has a serious strain on our mental wellbeing. It’s important to level the playing field and support these students so they have a fair chance of reaching their potential like their peers.

"After completing my degree I would like to do a postgraduate course and hope to secure a place on a graduate scheme. In the long run, I’d perhaps like to open my own business in the tech industry.

"I never thought I’d come to university, let alone learn to speak English when I first came to this country. I continue to shock myself with my achievements; I managed to pass my SATs, GCSEs, A Levels and now I’m a student at Queen Mary. I hope to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way now and in the future.

"Thank you to our alumni for making my scholarship possible. It’s wonderful to know that you care about the students here and for giving us boost when we need it the most. Your generosity has created a ripple effect; I won’t forget the support I have been fortunate to receive and I hope to give back in the future.”