‘That will have my support’: the Grant for Black or Indigenous Students inspires donors and recipients
When U of T’s fundraising team contacted alumna Sandra Sualim (BA 2004 UTM) for a donation to their 2022 annual campaign, she told them the initiatives they were promoting were important but not for her. Instead, she asked, “Do you have any bursaries for Black or Indigenous youth? Not a scholarship but a bursary, not grade-based but more financial need and merit-based?”
As a student, Sualim had to work full-time, at the front desk of what was then the SkyDome Hotel, while also studying full-time for her honours degree in English and Psychology with a minor in Economics. It was a stressful situation that she believes negatively affected her grades.
“I was a solid A or B student, but if I had had the opportunity to work less, who knows?,” says Sualim, who is now the President and CEO of the Humber River Hospital Foundation. “Part of my struggle has made me who I am, but it would also have been nice to also not struggle so much to get where I am.”