Safa Bibi from Small Heath has won a fully funded degree at Birmingham City University (BCU) after being named the winner of this year’s life-changing Millennium Point Charitable Trust Scholarship.
Safa was studying Applied Science at South and City College, Birmingham and will now study for a degree in Computer Science at BCU from September. She developed an interest in the computing world in secondary school and was further inspired by speeches from women in STEM. Thanks to the support from Millennium Point, Safa has the opportunity to study a subject she is deeply passionate about. She hopes to be an inspiration to others to follow their passion regardless of their religion or race.
Each year, the Millennium Point Charitable Trust funds tuition fees for an undergraduate degree in partnership with Birmingham City University at their Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. The faculty covers over 20 different courses across computing, digital technology, engineering, and the built environment.
This makes Safa the ninth winner of the renowned scholarship following a rigorous assessment process. The Millennium Point Trust Scholarship has already funded eight inspiring young people from the region through their degrees, including last year’s winner Hatem Kesseir from Yardley who is also studying Computer Science at BCU.
To choose the winners, the judging panel consisted of Abbie Vlahakis (CEO of Millennium Point), Hanifa Shah (Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of Birmingham City University), Asima Adnan (previous winner of the scholarship), and Mike Ridler (ElevationX).
Finalists didn’t leave empty handed, with Abigail Guest, Henrikas Varanauskas, Ryjhorn Weekes, and winner Safa Bibi receiving a laptop to further help them in their studies.
Safa said, “Winning the scholarship has made me feel seen and heard by more than just my community of family and friends, so I feel like I can do more and achieve more. I hope that me winning the scholarship empowers other women and ethnic minorities to start applying for scholarships and these roles in STEM.”
Abbie Vlahakis, CEO of Millennium Point and head judge, added, “Safa embodies everything we want to achieve at Millennium Point. We want more young people to be inspired to go into STEM, and we could see from Safa that she immediately wanted to change the world. She wanted to change people’s views and get more young people to follow in her footsteps. To see her so overwhelmed with happiness made us elated.
STEM is incredibly important, not only to our region but to the UK economy. We are currently in a digital age where STEM skills are required across every sector, and so we are keen to get more young people into these roles so they can go on and have truly rewarding careers.”
The scholarship competition is one of the flagship initiatives of the Millennium Point Charitable Trust. Last year, £4.3m in commercial profits from the landmark Millennium Point public building and multi-award-winning venue in the Eastside of Birmingham city centre was invested into projects, events, and initiatives which support the growth of STEM education and industry in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.
The Millennium Point Charitable Trust has jointly funded 9 scholarships in partnership with BCU totalling £133,200. The scholarship competition is set to return in 2024.