The first recipients of a unique scholarship are set to graduate

Convocation 2024

The first recipients of a unique scholarship are set to graduate

Queen鈥檚 will soon be celebrating the first graduates of the Promise Scholars program, a comprehensive access initiative for local, first-generation students.

By Andrew Willson, Senior Communications Officer

June 14, 2024


Promise Scholar graduate Reem Gharib

Reem Gharib started at 成人大片 as a member of the first cohort of Promise Scholars in 2020 and is set to graduate this June. (Zainab Gharib)

Queen鈥檚 University is getting ready for convocation, and this year鈥檚 ceremonies will be a milestone for an important access initiative. The first two graduates of the Promise Scholars program, which provides comprehensive supports to local, first-generation students, will be donning their caps and gowns and crossing the stage to receive their bachelor鈥檚 degrees.

Reem Gharib, who recently completed the commerce program, is one of the Promise Scholar graduates. Gharib grew up in Kingston and started at Queen鈥檚 in fall 2020. As she gets ready to finish her undergraduate experience, she is looking back on how much she鈥檚 grown over the past four years.

鈥淏eing a Promise Scholar has been a transformative experience and it was truly an honour to be part of the first cohort of the program,鈥 says Gharib. 鈥淚 was able to pursue my dream program because of this scholarship. I know I鈥檓 never going to forget the opportunities it鈥檚 given me.  The support that my fellow scholars and I received through the scholarship is unmatched. From academic to career support, the Promise Scholars program has really helped me in my four years and removed a lot of barriers, which helped reduce the stress of being a student.鈥

All Promise Scholars receive academic and career support in addition to four years of funding of $60,000-$100,000 (depending on program) that enables scholars to graduate loan free with no repayable debt. Queen鈥檚 connects Promise Scholars with guidance even before they start their studies by enrolling them in QSuccess, a mentorship program that pairs a first-year student with an upper-year student mentor.

Gharib credits QSuccess with helping her adjust to university, especially amid the uncertainties of the pandemic. She appreciated the mentorship she received so much she decided to become a QSuccess mentor herself to help first-years starting after her.

Gharib played an active role in other campus groups as well throughout her time as an undergraduate, getting involved in the Smith Commerce Society, Queen鈥檚 Women in Leadership Club, and The Agency, a student-run marketing organization.

鈥淭aking part in extracurriculars really enriched my experience at Queen鈥檚,鈥 says Gharib. 鈥淭hey gave me opportunities to learn different skills and lead teams, which I know will serve me well in the workplace. And they also allowed me to make a tangible impact on the Queen鈥檚 community. I think it鈥檚 really important for students to be able to leave university feeling like they鈥檝e made a difference for other students, and I鈥檝e been able to do that at Queen鈥檚.鈥

Now Gharib is preparing to begin a full-time job at an insurance company in Kingston. Looking to the future, she hopes to one day take on a leadership role in the workplace and maybe start a company of her own, building on the skills she has acquired from running her own photography business.

Background of Promise Scholars program

Queen鈥檚 announced the creation of the Promise Scholars program in 2019 and admitted the first students in 2020. Five awards are available each year, and there are currently 16 Promise Scholars enrolled at the university.

鈥淲hen we created the Promise Scholars program and admitted our first students, we looked forward to seeing them cross the stage at their convocation,鈥 says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. 鈥淣ow we are thrilled to see student-recipients fulfill their educational goals and move on to the next chapter of their lives with the skills and experiences they have developed at Queen鈥檚, ready to make an impact in their communities. We are very proud of them and look forward to seeing what they achieve next.鈥

Learn more about the Promise Scholars Program on the Office of the University Registrar鈥檚 Financial Aid and Awards website.

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