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How this Nigerian got a MasterCard Foundation scholarship

Rejection of a scholarship can be traumatic for any applicant. In some cases, it may undermine students’ desire to apply for other scholarships or financial aid. The opposite was true for Solace Ojotule, who worked hard to fuel the scholarship refusal.

Despite faced with the refusal of seven scholarships, her tenacity and positive outlook were ultimately rewarded when she won. Mastercard Foundation Scholarship (Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program) Study at the prestigious University of Edinburgh, which has fascinated many Chevening scholars.. Receiving a scholarship was a fun opportunity for Ojotule, but it wouldn’t have happened without a fair share of her trials and hardships.

We caught up with the Nigerians and learned more about her career, scholarship application process and experience in Nigeria. University of Edinburgh As well as tips for future international students who are planning to apply scholarship..

Hello Solace. Please tell us your background, such as your background in Nigeria.

Growing up in Nigeria, I was raising the average middle class. I lost my father when I was young. So it was very difficult for my mother to pay the school tuition. So, after graduating from college, I didn’t want to bother her mother, so I decided to look for a scholarship to get her master’s degree.

In the average lifestyle, I have to go one step further, get various deals, help my mother, and help my family business in order to earn income to fund education. I didn’t belong to an upper class family, so I had a lot of work to do to get an education.

Have you participated in a community engagement project?

Yes, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars are very passionate about the next generation of African leaders.

Let me give you some background information about me. I grew up in a very patriarchal society. As I mentioned earlier, I lost my father when I was young. I shared this issue on social media to spotlight this issue and make it more recognizable to more people. My mother didn’t have a boy when I lost him. So each of my father’s property was robbed.

My mother has 5 girls and I need to feed them. As I grew up, I noticed this injustice early on. First and foremost, I am human, whether male or female. So I decided to oppose this discrimination. Growing up in such an environment you are always told how good a girl you are, so you can be someone’s wife, but no one really is about your personal growth I won’t tell you.

Everything they teach about your life revolves around your marriage. College education makes you more aware of this injustice. Everyone has rights in society and everyone deserves equal treatment. Education empowers me, so I decided to start changing from my little space.

I started a non-profit organization called SheRise Africa for educational purposes. Many of them grew up in an environment where they were constantly told how good they should be to be someone’s wife. But no one really talks to you about your personal development. No one tells them to strive for their own goals. Everything they teach about your life revolves around marrying you.

She Rise Africa aims to empower girls to become what they want to be once they are educated. We visit junior high schools and tell girls that they can pursue their career goals, apart from the future determined by society. We book sessions with them, inspire them, and do a lot of online work to emphasize the fact that women’s rights are human rights.

We also address issues such as gender-based violence, girl-to-girl education, and highlighting the most prominent women’s issues in rural areas. We also implemented an intervention program. This included a pad disinfection program that gave girls menstrual napkins and taught them about feminine hygiene and the transition to adulthood.

You will be shocked Many of these girls are not even aware of menstrual napkins. I talked to the Mastercard Foundation scholarship about my voluntary service, and that was the way I was able to get the scholarship.

Solace Ojotule founded She Rise Africa, a non-profit organization that aims to empower women through education, based on her experience growing up in the Igala tribe of Nigeria. Source: Solace Ojotule

What motivates you to continue applying for a scholarship despite seven refusals?

A factor in my motivation was that I didn’t want to be average anymore. I decided that “a girl can do whatever she wants”.

I feel that if my mother had been more educated, she would have had more power to stand up to what she had done when she lost my father. I was very passionate about pursuing my education and aimed at it with everything I had.

I wanted to get a graduate degree, but I didn’t have enough money. Applying for a scholarship was my only option. I knew that if I was denied a scholarship, my next application would only make me stronger.

I used rejection as a learning experience and learning curve to improve my next scholarship application.

I was very passionate about getting a master’s degree. I continued to apply until I got my master’s degree in Nigeria or until I got a scholarship. In the end, it happened.

Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Recipient: Solace Ojotule

Solace believes that persistence is the key to winning the Mastercard Scholarship Foundation. Source: Solace Ojotule

Did you target only UK universities or did you consider other countries as well?

I didn’t have many opportunities to study abroad in Nigeria to offer scholarships, so I was looking for an opportunity to study abroad. But I knew there were a lot of external scholarships available.

If I had the opportunity to study abroad, I used it. I was thinking of applying to Korea as well as the UK. We did not consider applying to the United States due to the terms attached to the application and due to limited funding for GRE, IELTS, and other tests. However, the UK accepts West African exam certificates.

What do you like about your college so far?

All! It’s a dream come true for me. I love the fact that the University of Edinburgh is one of the top five universities in the UK. I love how the learning system here is designed to empower you and respect your opinions.

I also love how teachers interact with students. They don’t scare you. It helped me think from a broader perspective. I love how everyone has different opinions, and no one is better than others.

Edinburgh’s attractions make it so nice, and I love the variety that the city has to offer.

Remember that learning materials are readily available online and embedded. As a result, students do not have to be stressed by looking for resources. If you need physical learning resources, you can go to the library.

Did you take a memorable class?

Of course, gender and development classes. I’m passionate about this topic, so it’s exciting to me. As you take the course, you can observe other people’s discussions about the problem. The class was very exciting to me — this involves learning about the various waves of feminism.

Since the majority of people come from countries with similar ethnic backgrounds, we find that prejudice extends not only to gender, but also to different races, religions and locations. I learned that the privileges given in one society can be deprived when settling in another.

So that part of the crossing has certainly found that discrimination comes not only in different ways, but also through the specific needs of different people.

Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Recipient: Solace Ojotule

Through gender and development classes, Solace Ojotule learned that prejudice and discrimination can take many forms. Source: Solace Ojotule

Are you a member of a club or organization?

I am not only a member of the Feminist Association, but also a member of the African Film Club.

Check out the spotlight on African films.After the movie is over, we will discuss issues related to Africa — — Poverty, conflict, resource costs, and why things aren’t working under African leadership.

What’s one thing from the house you’re missing out on? How would you replace it?

food. You won’t notice that you’re abroad until you’re done with the food you bring from home. I have to go to an African store, which costs about 10 times more than I go home. It’s not even the amount you wanted.

I also miss my family and friends who have returned home.

Any tips for international students looking to apply for a scholarship in the UK?

Searching for scholarships is not for the timid. It’s not for people who easily give up hope if one application doesn’t work. The scholarship is a number game.

Please note that if you are applying for a scholarship, you may need to send as many applications as possible. If you face a rejection, I do not recommend you to be offended about it. Instead, use it as valuable feedback to improve your next scholarship application.

Applying for a scholarship requires time and energy. I also had to try many applications before I could secure the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. So don’t stop applying. If I get a scholarship, you can.

don’t give up. Keep pursuing and pursuing that dream — you’re going to get it done.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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