DUBAI //One of Sharjah's brightest students has become the first in the UAE to receive the Bell Scholarship and Achievement Award to attend the Canada's top undergraduate university.
The Pakistani national Jeehan Jawed, 18, who spent most of her school years at the Victoria English School in Sharjah, won a four-year scholarship worth C$36,000 (Dh132,436) to pursue a bachelor's degree in commerce at the Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada.
The university has been ranked Canada's top undergraduate university by Maclean's magazine 16 times in a row.
Jeehan was awarded the Bell scholarship for her academic ability and extra-curricular involvement, work experience and leadership qualities.
"I was pretty set on going to one of the bigger schools and my parents loved Mount Allison University," said Jeehan, who is already attending classes in New Brunswick.
Ron Byrne, vice president of the university, travelled to the UAE to meet her family and personally extend the invitation.
"No other university would send someone to have dinner with me," Jeehan said.
"And I had a lovely time. So I ended up coming to Mount A and I am glad that I did."
Roy Hart, headmaster of Victoria English School, said Jeehan had always been on the go.
"She is a tremendous young woman," Mr Hart said. "She spent most of her school life with us and showed so much potential, not only in academics but as an all-rounder."
Jeehan's active school life was what most impressed the university. She was part of the climbing club, organised bake sales to raise funds for charity and spent time volunteering.
She even started her own business selling cakes for weddings and birthdays.
"We're very proud," said her mum, Aisha. "She has always been a good student."