EPIC-Guyana grants student return to UG on full scholarship

A young woman is now one step closer to obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies after an intended job interview resulted in her being granted a full scholarship to the University of Guyana (UG).

This is the fortune that has befallen 20-year-old Candacey Leann Glen, who had gone to the office of EPIC-Guyana, a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), for a job interview.

Glen, a former student of the West Demerara Secondary School, explained that in 2015, she was pursing studies at UG in the field of Medical Technology. However, due to pressing financial constraints, she was forced to put her studies on hold.

Two years later, with some encouragement from a friend, the young woman applied for a job at EPIC-Guyana with the main goal of working and saving for her university fees.

CEO and Co-founder of EPIC-Guyana Brian Backer, EPIC Scholarship recipient Candacey Glen and EPIC-Guyana Programme Coordinator Surujdai Mukhram at EPIC-Guyana’s 87 C Barrack Street, Kingston office on Friday (Mariah Lall photo)

However, Glen got more than she expected at the job interview last week, when EPIC’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Backer offered her a full scholarship to pursue her studies at the University of Guyana.

“I came here with the intention of getting a job but while talking to Mr. Brian it just changed from a job interview to me getting a scholarship to get back into UG… I was really overwhelmed because I was sitting here thinking this guy is going to ask me all these questions and I told him I was going to UG and I had to stop. He asked me about my grades at school and I showed him my certificates,” she shared.

“He continued by asking if I was to get a scholarship to go to UG would I jump out and take up the opportunity and I said yes. He asked me for a few minutes to call someone on the phone, and before I knew it, he was telling me that they are giving me a scholarship to go to UG. At that time, it was like all the blood drained from my body because it was like I came for one thing and was leaving with something else… It’s been three years since I came out of school and I have been trying to study but it’s like every time I tried, something keeps blocking me. So, for something like this to happen, it’s just really amazing…this just takes a really big burden off of me,” Glen added.

Commenting on her decision to switch areas of study, Glen said though she had taken a liking to Environmental Studies while in high school, her parents were not very supportive of her choice, and so she had decided that Medical Technology was the next best thing for her.

“With this scholarship I now have the opportunity to do what I want to do,” the young woman shared.

According to Glen, she has already signed the contract and is hopeful of enrolling in the university programme in either January or September, 2018.

Meanwhile, Backer told Stabroek News said that after hearing of Glen’s interest in environmental science, coupled with the grades she presented to him, he felt that EPIC sponsoring her university studies was a “no brainer.”

In addition to this, Backer disclosed to Glen, who is also a hockey player, that she will be the beneficiary of one year free gym membership, compliments of Space Gym, much to the young woman’s delight.

Going back to the granting of scholarships, Backer said that Glen’s scholarship could very well be the first of many more scholarships to be offered by EPIC-Guyana. “We would usually offer scholarships to private schools but never at the university level. We would like to offer more of these for persons pursuing certain fields of study…hopefully when Ms. Glen excels at university, her story will inspire others to give towards these types of scholarships… the things we can do to make a positive impact is only limited by our resources, that’s it,” he shared.

“One condition of the scholarship though, is that Ms. Glen is expected to volunteer some of her time for youth initiatives that we may have and other community stuff because I think it’s really important that people give back,” Backer added.

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