Bridging the Gap

Bridge Graduation

This has been the busiest ever summer for the Bridge Program; we celebrated the graduation of 84 students, matched over 110 new students starting university with scholarships, and engaged 160 potential scholarship students in our University Preparation Course (UPC). We’re growing at a pace we couldn’t have ever imagined.

DukeEngage
For the 6th year running, eight volunteers from Duke University participated in the DukeEngage Program in Lebanon. The volunteers provided additional SAT preparation to our UPC students.
SAT preparation is just one part of our students’ lengthy university application process. Over the next two years, these students will be given college guidance and counselling, before being matched with donors and funding for Universities in Lebanon and across the world.
A special thanks to Dr. Maha Al Houssami and Julia Daley from the DukeEngage Programs and the wonderful Duke students for their invaluable contribution to UPC 2018.

Scholarships
Over 110 students, the intake of 2018 – 2019, just crossed the bridge into their universities in Lebanon and abroad. This could not have been possible without the generous support of our donors, staff, and volunteers.
Applications for the Bridge Program will open in October 2018 and is open to all. Here’s to another year of students having access to higher education!

Graduation
84 students graduated from the Bridge program this year. Our bright Bridge Program participants celebrated their graduation from university, bringing the number of Bridge alumni to 411.
The ceremony was magical, tearful, sentimental and inspiring. The president of Lebanese American University, Dr. Joseph Jabbra, delivered a moving keynote speech filled with words of encouragement and enlightenment.

Another Journey Begins

Bags unpacked, new friendships formed and exams around the corner – 131 Bridge students are nearing the end of their first semester at 31 universities in 10 countries. This new phase in their journey as Bridge students is off to a good start and ULYP is proud of them.

This journey is just about to begin for the next cohort of Bridge University Scholarship Program students. The ULYP team has been visiting schools and university fairs across Lebanon to reach out to qualified and deserving students. We have met driven and passionate students aspiring to continue their education. ULYP can’t wait for them to apply, begin their Bridge journey and grow and develop into the students and people they should have the opportunity to be.

A ULYP Alum Speaks Out

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My name is Khaled El-Musleh, a Palestinian citizen living in Lebanon. I completed my secondary education in Lebanon, and my university education in Mechanical Engineering in Northern Cyprus at Near East University (NEU). I am now attending the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, where I am pursuing my master’s degree in Engineering Design.

I have always striven for academic excellence and achieved outstanding results in both my higher secondary and secondary exams. I was granted a ULYP scholarship after receiving good results in the Lebanese Baccalaureate 2 official examinations, which made it possible for me to attend NEU. There, I studied 4 years of mechanical engineering and was ranked first in my department and second in my graduate class of 2014 with a CGPA of 3.6/4.0. To my great joy, I was even selected to give the graduation speech in front of hundreds of students.

After my success at NEU, I was granted merit scholarships to pursue my master’s degree from schools all around the world. Although choosing between them was hard, I decided to attend KTH as it is one of the best in leading innovation in the world. Sweden is everything I expected it to be and I have never regretted my decision.

Recently, I was selected by my professor to compete in Shell Eco Marathon Europe under ECO CARS TEAM at KTH. This event brings together student teams from around the world to design, build and test energy-efficient vehicles. Our mission as students was to develop a car that runs on a hydrogen fuel cell for the international competition.Khaled1 After 5 months of hard work, we created a running car! While we didn’t reach our initial goal due to some technical problems, my teammates and I were still extremely proud that we had made it into the race and finished 4 laps. At the same time, I got an opportunity to anchor a very big project with SKF China, a global technology provider, and collaborate with Jiao Tong University in China. The project was designing a new mechanical brake system for a linear actuator. While working on both projects simultaneously was a challenge, I greatly enjoyed it and working with so many people from different countries was undoubtedly an amazing experience.

I hope that all this knowledge that I am accumulating here in Sweden will give me the chance to help the industrial development of a machine industry in my country, build a successful career and be able to facilitate people’s lives with new technology. I am thankful to ULYP for giving me this opportunity and I hope to one day be able to repay their kindness by helping other people in my situation.

Celebrating Education – The Future Starts Now

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ULYP celebrated the achievement of 81 students who pursued higher education and succeeded in graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from universities in Lebanon and abroad, all with the support of ULYP’s scholarship program.   ULYP’s class of 2015, together with many friends, donors, supporters and partners, gathered on our campus in Dibbiyeh to celebrate education and remind everyone that education is the ultimate tool for social change.

4The event included two inspiring speeches from two amazing guest speakers; Dr. Mohamad Zakaria and Dr. Yassine Daoud. Dr. Zakaria is one of the top 10 most educated men in the world, and Dr. Yassine Daoud is a world-renowned specialist in ophthalmology. Both men spent their formative years in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and attended UNRWA schools, but managed to achieve excellence through education, determination, and having people who believed in them. In their addresses, they both encouraged the graduates to continue their education, pursue their dreams and give back to their communities. The event also included a musical section presented by the children from our Artists and Actors program, who sang traditional Arabic songs- Muwashahat- to the audience. These 8-11 year-old children learned the songs on a weekend retreat through ULYP’s CIRCLE project, in partnership with UNICEF. We hope they will one day become the future ULYP graduates. The whole event was broadcast live on ULYP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and guests and students were encouraged to post photos and quotes using #ulypgrads.

As well as all receiving certificates of achievement, some students were recognized with additional awards in five categories during the event. These were:

  1. The Beirut Marathon Association Helping People RUN award.
  2. The Giving back to the Community Award
  3. The Following One’s Passion Award
  4. The Mohammad Zuhdi Nashashibi Science and Technology Award
  5. The Abuhaydar Honor Society Award

Finally, two ULYP graduates addressed their peers and spoke about their university transition and the road that lies ahead. We felt very proud as the graduates marched onto stage wearing blue stoles to collect their certificates of achievement. Mabrouk to all, we look forward to following your progress as you embark on your futures!

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Prosteel – Working all Day and all Night

 

Yousef Rmayyed (2)Yousef Rmayyed, one of ULYP’s students studying civil engineeringrecently took part in the Prosteel ‘Permanent shelter design after earthquake disasters’ competition.

“I was invited by my lecturer, the head of the Civil Engineering department at Cyprus International University, Asst. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Balkis, to join 2 architecture students in a group to represent our university in a competition. The competition was entitled “Permanent shelter design after earthquake disasters ” and took place in Van, Turkey. She chose me due to my hard working study and high grade achievement – I have the highest grades in the civil engineering department at the university.

There were 30 groups from other Turkish universities who also took part in the competition. The groups were made of architecture students to work on the structure and design, and civil engineering students to create the design and calculations. These structures were to be made from steel only with no reinforced concrete used!

My team, formed of 2 architectural friends Öznur and Elif, started our design and analysis more than a month before the submission deadline, with hard work, searching, trying to find the best solution available, and using the best methods of analysis and design. We sometimes worked all day and night, facing conflicts and difficulties and doing our best to solve them!! Sharing our experiences between each other, we all worked together as a team create our design. We won an Honorable Mention Prize from Prosteel 2014 for what we created. We are proud of what we have done, including both design and analysis!

I joined ULYP in 2010. I graduated from Cyprus International University this semester, at the end of June, and am now looking for a scholarship to complete my Masters study in the field of construction management.

Of course I would like to thank you all at ULYP, and special thanks and regards to Mrs. Melek.  I am here in this situation and position because of her valuable effort and the uncountable help she gave and is still giving for me. From my deep heart I thank her very much.”