Dubai: It’s literally a dream come true for 19-year-old Salman Tariq, an expatriate UAE resident who has bagged a 100 per cent scholarship to pursue his undergraduate course in an Ivy League university.
Tariq, who moved to Spokane Falls Community College (SFCC) in Washington DC this Fall, is the recipient of Dh150,000 for the first two years of education and will be granted more funds to complete his graduation and he intends to complete his degree in Finance from mostly Columbia University.
Tariq from the city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan has always lived with his family of five siblings in Al Ain. His father is a metallic scrap dealer in the Al Ain industrial area. Tariq told Gulf News that he was “living his dream as he could never really imagine he would be able to go to the US for higher studies”. He topped two A level and one AS examinations in 2014.
In an email interview from the US, he told Gulf News: “I do not know of any other Asian student who has got a 100 per cent scholarship. Usually, students get up to 50 per cent scholarship at the undergraduate level. It is indeed a dream for students like me. I think my academic profile along with my interest in extra-curricular activities plus the help I received in articulating my voice to the decision-makers at Spokane, helped shape my future. At times even if you have what it takes, a lack of guidance can make you end up somewhere you don’t want to. I am fortunate to have the best guidance.”
His mentor Peter Davos, founder of Hale Education, told Gulf News: “Salman was a brilliant student with outstanding school records, we noticed. So we put him into the American Honours Pathway Programme that allows for a student to complete one year within the UAE which he did at the American College of Dubai (ACD) and then sought a transfer to a community college in the US and finally he will get to study the last two years in an Ivy League university, based on his performance scores. Here, ACD and us, jointly funded the scholarship for the first two years.”
Tariq excelled in ACD and was awarded the outstanding student’s trophy for academic year 2015-2016 after which he went on a scholarship to SFCC at Washington DC in Fall 2016.
Tariq advises other students to always work hard and reach out for the stars “I have three sisters out of whom one is younger to me. To be fair, without this scholarship my dream to study in the States would have stayed that way because most of my dad’s income was directed towards the education of my elder sisters who were completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Abu Dhabi. I have always considered my life as a roller-coaster ride. With a lot of twists and turns, a lot of highs and lows. So one thing I am sure of is that nothing is certain and you are the one who has to help yourself in order for others to help you. Having said that, I also have started to believe that no matter how long it takes, hard work always pays off.”
Tariq intends to return and work in the UAE and eventually pursue his dream to get a doctoral degree.