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STUDENT STORIES

 There are many stories of how Humber students have benefited from the generosity of our supporters.
The personal impact on their lives can be read below.



Sara Smolej
Bachelor of Commerce - Human Resources Management, The Business School

“Receiving an award was an amazing opportunity for me. It solidified that I can do anything I put my mind to.”

Sara knew she wanted a career working with people and was drawn to the field of Human Resources because it combines both business and sociology. She chose Humber because the Human Resources Management degree curriculum includes the courses required to earn a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation. Thanks to the donor-funded awards she received, Sara paid off school expenses and topped up her savings account for the future.


Bianka Grof
General Arts & Science, School of Liberal Arts & Sciences

“It warms my heart to know how invested donors are in the education of future generations. I will never cease to be thankful for their help.” 

Bianka supported herself with two part time jobs while she attended Humber College full time. Receiving financial support from a scholarship had a direct impact on her academic performance because she could work a bit less, and study more. Juggling school and work means she sometimes had no days off for weeks in a row. Support made possible by donors allowed her to take a break to re-focus and re-gain her balance.


Ali Nasser
Occupational Therapist Assistant and Occupational Physiotherapist Assistant, School of Health Sciences

“Awards go beyond helping students financially; they help students on an emotional and psychological level. Receiving this award is great for my confidence and reminds me that I am not alone in this journey.”

Like many students, Ali works hard to balance school and work and not let worries about money shift his attention away from his education. Ali’s goal is to become a registered physiotherapist and knows he will get there with peer support from lifelong friends he has made at Humber College. Donor support helped Ali focus on his school work, and reinforced his passion for helping others.


Jennifer Szilagyi
Bachelor of Creative Advertising, School of Media Studies & Information Technology

"The scholarship I received drastically changed my outlook and altered the course of my future. It could not have come at a better time. I will always have endless gratitude that someone I don’t know gave me the financial and inspirational help I needed, and I hope to someday pay that gift forward."

I’m a fourth-year student at Humber College. Last fall, I faced some difficult circumstances and suddenly found myself having to scramble to find a new home and a new part-time job all within a month. I was worried, stressed, and having trouble focusing on my studies. But in December, I found out I received the Olive M. Hull Women’s Leadership Scholarship, funded by a generous donor. This completely changed the mindset I’d had the previous month. I found a sudden burst of motivation for my future! I now have the support I need to continue living in Toronto to pursue my studies, instead of moving back home with my parents. I’ve also been able to focus on freelance design work that corresponds with my program at Humber, rather than relying on an unrelated part-time job. As I near the completion of my studies, I am inspired to do my very best, and certain that I can have a positive impact on the world. The scholarship I received drastically changed my outlook and altered the course of my future. It could not have come at a better time. I will always have endless gratitude that someone I don’t know gave me the financial and inspirational help I needed, and I hope to someday pay that gift forward.


Erin Innis
Culinary Management, School of Hospitality, Recreation & Tourism

"I am so grateful and honoured to be given this scholarship. It isn’t just recognition for my hard work. It is also a reminder that I can achieve great things."

I’m in my final year of Culinary Management at Humber College, and I just received the Barney McCabe Memorial Scholarship. For several years, I had been trying to figure out what to do with my life. I’d been a mediocre student at the best of times for as long as I could remember. In 2012, I stepped into Humber’s hallways with no idea what to expect. I was terrified that this, my second attempt at post-secondary education, wouldn’t be any different from the last. I was insecure and full of doubt. But I didn’t encounter a maze this time around. There were no walls I could not see over, no awkward twists and turns or dead ends. To me, Humber was just a long hallway, and all I had to do was feel the walls and find the light switches to help me reach my destination. At Humber I finally found my answer…I could turn my passion for cooking and baking into a job. A life. I’ve been so proud of my accomplishments and making Honours these past three semesters. But receiving such a prestigious award on top of that has blown me away. I cannot express with words how it felt to take part in the awards ceremony. I remember trying to mentally process what exactly was going on at that time, and just seeing the huge smile on my mother’s face from the audience. I am so grateful and honoured to be given this scholarship. It isn’t just recognition for my hard work. It is also a reminder that I can achieve great things. And for the rest of my life, it will continue to inspire me to do nothing but the best work I can produce.


Adel Hajjaj

Adel Hajjaj
Civil Engineering Techynology, School of Applied Technology

"I have never in my life been given a gift of such magnitude."

Adel spent four years working in the construction industry which he is truly passionate about, but felt his limited technical knowledge would limit his career goals.  He wants to make a better life for himself and his wife, and followed his dreams by returning to school and enrolling in the Civil Engineering Technology program at Humber.

Leaving his job to attend school full-time wasn’t an easy decision, but Adel wanted to invest in himself academically.  He knows that this investment today will give him great returns tomorrow, and remembers his grandfather saying “nothing easy is worth it, and nothing worth it is easy”.
“This scholarship has lifted a tremendous weight off my shoulders, it is not only a huge financial support for this journey but it is also a great source of inspiration.  I have never in my life been given a gift of such magnitude.”

Adel is completing his first year of the Civil Engineering Technology program, and has found a path to a career that he wants to do for the rest of his life.


Henock Woldemanuel

Henock Woldemanuel
Architectural Technology, School of Applied Technology

"This scholarship gave me the confidence I need to work hard."

One of Henock’s goals is to give back to the country that welcomed him and made him feel at home. Henock returned to school in search of a better career. He is enrolled in the three year Architectural Technology Advanced Diploma program.

Henock wasn’t sure at first that he made the right decision to go back to school, but receiving this scholarship has given him the confidence to work hard toward his academic goals. He also earned a second-place finish in Humber College’s architectural mass model competition in his first semester.

“This scholarship gave me the confidence I need to work hard, made me feel honored to be recognized, substantially lessened my financial burden, and paved the way to my final destination.”

Henock is completing his first year in the Architectural Technology program and is also an active volunteer in the Ethiopian Association’s HIV prevention and awareness program.


Natasha De Melis

Natasha De Melis
Advertising and Graphic Design '13, School of Media Studies & Information Technology

"Humber students work hard to fulfill a dream we've had since childhood."

Natasha came to Humber after obtaining a Bachelor degree in Liberal Arts and Professional Studies from York University. She wanted to use her political science background and satisfy her passion for communications to work towards a career that would be meaningful and fulfilling. The Advertising and Graphic Design diploma program was the perfect fit and Natasha says her experience at Humber gave her a new perspective on the true meaning of happiness and opportunity.

Natasha never imagined she would be awarded for her accomplishments, and receiving this award gave her the ability to believe in herself.

“Humber students work hard to fulfill a dream we’ve had since childhood. Some students never have the chance to do so, but if they work hard, a generous donor may come along and give them an opportunity they would have never thought possible; a life and a career they only dreamed of. Sometimes you wake up and ask yourself, “Is this real? Has my hard work really paid off?” Well, the award I received gave me a pinch on the arm that snapped me back to reality, and I could truly say, “This is real.”

Now a recent graduate, Natasha was hired by Doug & Serge, the communications and design agency where she completed her internship and is working as a junior designer.


Lida Targhi-Bakhit

Lida Targhi-Bakhit
Paralegal Studies, Bachelor of Applied Arts, The Business School

"The Board of Governors' Scholarship has pushed me one step closer to reaching my goals."

Recipient of the Board of Governors’ Scholarship and The Excellence in Small Claims Court Award

Lida is in her third year of the Paralegal Studies degree program at Humber and is passionate about law. In addition to full-time studies, Lida works two part-time jobs. She is dedicated to success, and knows the hard work will pay off when she starts a career that she will truly enjoy.

Receiving a Board of Governors’ Scholarship at a point in the program where the increased difficulty of coursework challenges her critical thinking skills, has motivated Lida to continue to strive for her best.

“The Board of Governors’ Scholarship has pushed me one step closer to reaching my goals by giving me a boost in confidence and some monetary relief, allowing me to focus on my schoolwork and do exceptionally well.”

Lida is already planning the next steps towards achieving her dreams and is considering enrolling in Humber’s postgraduate certificate program in Alternative Dispute Resolution.


Sharmin Kassam

Sharmin Kassam
Civil Engineering Technology, School of Applied Technology

I'm so grateful that Humber has dedicated and loyal supporters who make awards and scholarships possible."

Recipient of the Gene Duret Memorial Award

When Sharmin first enrolled in the Civil Engineering Technology program at Humber, she faced skepticism from people who questioned her ability to succeed, and whether the program was the right fit for her. Her dedication, drive, and support from friends and faculty have allowed her to excel. She never doubted her decision to embark on a career path that is still predominately male.

Sharmin received an award that is given to a student who demonstrates a keen interest in the program, and it gave her a push to strive to succeed.

“I’m so grateful that Humber has dedicated and loyal supporters who make awards and scholarships possible. Furthermore, greater change happens through motivated beings. Being granted a window of opportunity to step it up even more and pursue my dreams has instilled this confidence in me that says “hey, I can do this.”

Sharmin is in her third and final year of the program, and is eager to share her experiences and the possibilities of entering the civil engineering industry, especially with other women.