Four students have been nominated for an ECHO Award 2020, which will take place on 8 December. Marwa Ahmed and Saad el Morabit are nominated for the Science & Technology Award. Achraf El Johari is nominated for the Loyens & Loeff Law & Tax Award and Priscilla Maria has been nominated for the ECHO Award WO.
Any Dutch university or university of applied sciences can nominate successful students from a non-western background for an ECHO Award. In order to be nominated, students have to distinguish themselves in their entrepreneurial attitude, organisational skills, active social engagement and their constructive approach to challenges related to exclusion. Marwa, Saad, Achraf and Priscilla have distinguished themselves in each of these areas.
Marwa Ahmed is a master’s student in Biomedical Sciences after completing her bachelor's degree in Natural and Social Studies. She devotes a lot of time to various executive committees dealing with diversity at the UvA and volunteering to improve the position of disadvantaged groups such as young people and refugees. Marwa strives for more justice by trying to combat systemic disadvantages and stigmatisation, not in the least through her own position as a role model.
Saad el Morabit is studying for a joint degree in Physics and Astronomy and was very surprised at the lack of diversity at the UvA at the start of his studies. This motivated him to volunteer as a tutor in science subjects, to support pupils in making study-related choices and to help parents to support their children in their studies. He believes it is important that young people with ambition can get far and are not held back by unfair structural or contextual barriers.
Achraf is a master's student in Commercial Legal Practice and a lecturer researcher in the Law programme at the HvA. Achraf has dedicated himself to improving the position of students and other young people through his positions in executive boards and his involvement in politics. Achraf has achieved a great deal at both the HvA and the UvA to bring together and support young people in a vulnerable position. His aim is to work towards an inclusive society in which disproportionate disadvantages are eliminated.
Priscilla is a master's student in Medicine, an MD/PhD candidate, a tutor and also does a lot to improve healthcare on the Dutch Caribbean islands and in the Netherlands. She plays an active role within the AMA, an association of physicians that wants to improve healthcare on the Dutch Caribbean islands. In addition, Priscilla is proactively trying to reduce cultural barriers in Dutch healthcare. She is continuously working on her own development in both her medical skills, as well as other skills she believes a good doctor needs.
ECHO, the national Expertise Centre for Diversity Policy, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to diversity and inclusion in (higher) education and in the job market. Through the ECHO Award, the organisation visibilises outstanding students from non-Western backgrounds who contribute to equal opportunities for all. This year, the award ceremony will take place on 8 December via a live broadcast from Pakhuis de Zwijger. The winners in the four different categories will win a 6-week summer course at UCLA in the United States. They will be chosen by an independent jury chaired by Kathleen Ferrier: President of the Dutch Unesco Commission.