Supported by Ulster University Boston-based graduates, it provides $1,500 a year to a student from a disadvantaged background for each year of study.
Ulster University's Discovery Scholar is an outreach initiative run by Ulster University across Northern Ireland which works with pupils from as early an age as possible, in the school setting, to support their educational journey and raise their aspirations with regards to their right to access higher education. It builds on the previous and successful Step-Up programme to significantly increase the impact of this early intervention, namely by empowering teachers, by being more equitable and inclusive and by reaching more students.
Ulster University engages with 368 schools with Free School Meal Entitlement of 40% or more across Northern Ireland in a variety of ways. Under the revised programme, the Discovery Scholar initiative engaged with 90 schools during 2017/18, increased from 17 per year under the former Step-Up.
In 2004, the Ulster University New England Alumni Association (UUNEAA) established a scholarship to support the Boston Step-Up Program, renamed in 2019 to the Boston Discovery Scholarship. This Scholarship offers financial support of $1,500 per year for up to four years to support a Discovery Scholar Program participant who is now studying at Ulster University.
To date, 8 Ulster University students have been supported by the Boston Discovery Scholarship.
Christopher Moore graduated in 2018 in Law. He was skeptical about his chances of going to University. Due to pressures in his home life, deciding to continue into higher education, and not start earning and contributing straightaway, was a significant decision. The Step-Up program taught him how university could significantly improve his career prospects as well as diversify his life experiences and that hard work could make a real difference.
"Receiving the Scholarship aided my studies in a number of ways,crucially allowing me to reduce my hours at my part time job,which created a multitude of opportunities for me both in university and outside, significantly enhancing my academic experience which in turn undoubtedly enhanced my graduate outcomes."
During his time at Ulster, Christopher grabbed every opportunity given to him, securing a summer internship at the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), and completing the Citizen Advice Advisor Training Program which qualified him to advise clients in a number of areas including immigration and welfare.
Christopher had secured a job even before he graduated and is working in a Paralegal position in the commercial property team at Arthur Cox.
"I have no doubt that the University’s intervention encouraged me to make the leap and apply for university and that the subsequent scholarship while I was studying at Ulster significantly improved my graduate outcomes in so many ways. It made the difference between struggling and scraping through, and actually availing of all the opportunities to help me realise my full potential."
In addition to financial support the UUNEAA can provide mentoring, assistance in finding internships in the Boston area and networking opportunities for the successful candidate after graduation. Please contact Debbie Jamieson for more information.
Select this link to support the Boston Discovery Programme