TWO Sunderland students have each scooped a £10,000 boost.
Glen Potts and Mathew Feltoe were awarded the sum after they both demonstrated an excellent academic record and dedication to their University of Sunderland courses.
The Sir Tom Cowie Memorial Scholarship Awards aim to help Sunderland students succeed irrespective of their background.
Glen was chosen because he maintained a high academic standard whilst dealing with financial pressures and family illness.
He said: “Six years ago I had a dream to become a primary school teacher and contribute to the education and welfare of children in the Sunderland area. This desire came from my own two children, Leah and Ella, as the contrast in needs between them is vast.
“Last December my wife’s dad was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. After Christmas, just as life was settling down a little, my own dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a year to live.”
Despite everything that the 41-year-old from Sunderland had faced that year, he actually achieved his most successful results to date.
Glen added: “Dad was so proud, I had won my battle. However he was beginning to lose his. Dad sadly passed away in June and although he will not see me graduate, he was clear in his mind that I would succeed.
“When I first learned of the scholarship I was in disbelief. I am so grateful to the Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust; their generosity has already made a huge impact on my life.”
Mathew is a final year Mechanical Engineering student who had been working part-time to support his studies.
The 23-year-old could not fully engage with activities around his studies because of his work commitments.
But, the scholarship will now enable him to enhance his knowledge further to benefit his future career.
He said: “After completing my final year I plan to study a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering and become a Chartered Engineer. Ultimately I would like to create and develop my own engineering company, engaging in design and consultancy work with the aim of bringing more business to the North-East by employing local engineers, and giving back to the community.”
David Gray, chairman of trustees of the Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust, said: “The Trust is delighted with the success of the scholarships, now that the scheme has entered into its second year.
“This year’s scholars, Matthew and Glen, are both studying degrees that would mean so much to Sir Tom, with both students wanting to work in Sunderland after their studies.”