May 19, 2017 | Simon Jenkins
In a letter to donors, second year Law student Aamir Shazad explains the difference which his scholarship has made:
Thank you for helping people like me come to Leeds. It’s hard to put into words how much it means to have alumni like you on my side. It’s not just the financial side of things, though that’s crucial, obviously. It’s also the extra motivation I get from knowing you believe in me. It makes me determined to work extra hard and achieve everything I can to pay back your investment in me.
I must admit though, that when I first started to think seriously about university, I didn’t think it would be possible for somebody like me. You see the amount of debt you might have; 30, 40 or even 50 thousand pounds, and it’s terrifying. Those amounts of money are crazy. I think because my parents aren’t well off, I can’t even think in those sort of numbers.
So when I learned I might be eligible for a scholarship it made a huge difference. I’m a local lad and so could stay at home to save on rent money, so with the scholarship I thought it might just about be doable. So I applied, got the three As I needed, and the rest is history.
I realised how much difference the scholarship was going to make on my very first day here. We got a list of law books we needed to buy from our tutor and it came to about £500. There’s no way I could have bought them without the scholarship, so I’d have fallen behind right from the start.
Another way the scholarship helps is paying for transport. I’m determined to get as much practical experience as I can, but a lot of the law firms that can help are in London – and the train fare is really expensive. I wouldn’t have been able to make the most of my studies without you.
I worked really hard in my first year and at the end of it was awarded the Batt Prize for my performance in criminal law and was added to the Head of Schools List for the top 10 per cent of students. I’m not telling you to show off, I just hope it might help to persuade you that your investment in me is paying off so far, and I’m determined I continue to do my best and graduate with a top degree.
Thank you again and I hope you’ll think about donating to help someone like me come to Leeds this year. Whoever they are, I know Leeds will be a life-changing experience and you’ll have given them a fantastic opportunity to realise their potential.