Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#BeCauseY: Meet Efadul Huq

Efadul Huq has tirelessly vetted so many scholarship opportunities announced through the Department of Urban Planning of which he‘s a graduate student. Most graduate students will tell you it’s not easy to find financial assistance, especially for those students passionate about community service and activism. Efadul had heard about the University YMCA‘s Fred S. Bailey Scholarship for Cause-Driven Leaders and found a chance for his work to be supported. Still, even with all of his work in service and activism, he wondered if he had a shot in getting the Fred S. Bailey scholarship to support his work.

For international students like Efad there are not many options for scholarships or fellowships. Most paid internships and fellowships within Urban Planning have to do with city level jobs and government level jobs, which requires you to at least have a legal permanent residency status at the very least in most cases. The Fred S. Bailey Scholarship for Cause-Driven leaders was one of two scholarships for which he was able to find himself eligible and apply.

Over the past year or so, Efad had also been involved with the New Americans Initiative, a global engagement program of the University YMCA that reaches out to local immigrant families. He also participated in a community organization called The CU Immigration Forum and among has also been driving the movement for U. of I. divestment from Vanity Fair in support of Bangladeshi garment workers who demand safe factory conditions.

“I feel that the YMCA is a sort of oasis on campus, with all of the social justice and environmental activism happening, overlapping and collaborating within this space. It is such a lively and exciting place to be," says Efad.

It’s amazing to see the great work of students like Efad having a place of support in the YMCA. And, in case you haven’t heard yet, we are happy to report that Efad Huq is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Fred S. Bailey Fellowship for Community Leadership, Service, and Activism.

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