GRASP (Global Romanian Society of Young Professionals) is a non profit organisation run by volunteers, many of which have left their home country in order to pursue academic qualifications at some of the top universities around the world. They have realised how important it is to have a solid academic foundation from a good university and how this helped them further in their lives. We would like to pay it forward so that others like us could benefit in a similar ways.
GRASP Scholarship is a needs based scholarship, created exclusively for high school students in Romania coming from unprivileged/low-income backgrounds, who have achieved academic excellence and have already been admitted at a top university (some even with a scholarship in recognition of their academic merits), but who do not possess the required financial means to pursue their degrees abroad.
Illustrative example case: Dan is a student in his final year of high school in Barlad, Romania. He has achieved a top place at the Physics Olympiad. He has applied for a Bachelor’s degree in Physics at Oxford University and has been accepted with a full academic scholarship. Dan’s father has left the family when Dan was only 9 years old. Dan’s mother is trying her very best to offer Dan a chance in life. However, she works on a minimum wage and will not be able to provide for him, not even for his flight ticket to the UK. GRASP Scholarship could help Dan pay for the majority of his personal expenses and costs of his first academic year until he can secure other sources of income.
This year we are aiming to raise funds for 2 scholarships each with the value of just enough to cover the personal needs and living expenses during the first academic year until the point the beneficiaries are able to secure other sources of income independently. This scholarship will provide the unique chance at a crucial time for 5 students who are about to embark on their dream journey at a top university.
How we raise funds
We have already started various initiatives for raising the funds in order to grant 2 scholarships. We will run crowdfunding campaigns, we will participate in competitions, marathons, we will climb mountains, we will offer our free time in order to do our best to raise the funds so that these children can benefit and achieve their very best as well in their academic endeavours. We will engage our wide GRASP network of professionals in order to achieve our target.
How we select the beneficiaries
In order to identify the ones who are in genuine need of this scholarship we have partnered with Oxford for Romania, who have been running summer schools for a number of years for the same target group of high school students who we would like to help. Oxford for Romania creates a shortlist of eligible candidates and the GRASP team will target a maximum amount of beneficiaries who could benefit from the funds raised in order to maximise the number of people we can help. The selection criteria is a case by base choice considering the financial background, academic performance and chosen university of each beneficiary.
How you can help
We are currently running a crowd funding campaign through the GoFundMe platform via this link.
Value of the scholarships
We are going to award scholarships with the value of just enough money that will help beneficiaries with the costs of living for the shortest periods possible before they can start accessing other sources of income (working part time, other scholarships, etc). Typical values can range from £1,000 – £5,000.
Where it’s running
GRASP Scholarship is a global project. We will initially be piloting this project as part of GRASP London with one or two students already admitted to one of the UK top 10 universities.