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Momentum Builders Scholarship pays dividends for physics students

Eva Cheung

The Momentum Builders Scholarship was a game-changer for Taha Sayed Aboshanab.

“Even though the scholarship is financial, it reverberates in so many other aspects in my life — psychological, social. It’s way bigger than just the financial investment.”

Aboshanab is a third-year physics student and a member of Trinity College and one of the first to receive the scholarship, awarded to Indigenous and Black students.

The scholarship was spearheaded by Kimberly Strong, chair of the Department of Physics, who donated in the hopes of breaking down systemic barriers for those who wish to pursue STEM careers.

“The goal of the scholarship is to provide additional financial support to these students, and, more importantly, encouragement. What we'd like to do is build up a cohort of students in our faculty and have events that bring these students together. It’s more than just giving money — it's about providing additional support to deserving students,” says Strong. “Thanks to the generosity of many donors, we have raised an endowment that will enable us to award this scholarship annually for years to come.”

Another recipient of the scholarship, Ezra Msolla, a third-year student and a member of New College, echoed Aboshanab’s thoughts on the impact of the award.

“In a city like Toronto that's so multicultural, the initiative to help and promote awareness can’t be understated. It's important to know the school is taking steps toward making STEM more accessible for Indigenous and Black students. Having received recognition is a good signal to myself about the steps I've taken to get to this point, and to show other students opportunities are out there,” says Msolla.

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