A UTM student has been named the recipient of the John H. Moss Scholarship by the University of Toronto Alumni Association.

Samra Younus, currently in her fourth year in financial economics at UTM, has been an exceptional student and an award-winning head TA in the economics department, and has been involved in various extracurricular activities.

She received the call telling her that she had won the award one hour after her interview in early February. All candidates were invited to take interviews with the committee whose task it was to decide on a recipient.

When she heard that she had won, Younus couldn’t believe it. “It was very emotional for me,” she said. “I was happy and ecstatic.”

Younus called her best friend, her mother, and her sister before emailing her professors to thank them.

Younus had to overcome several barriers in order to finally get her education at UTM, after many years of being prevented from entering university. She finally enrolled at UTM in 2008, which was “life-changing” for her.

“It’s been a tough ride,” said Younus, a single mother. “Things changed a lot. All I knew was that I wanted to go to school. That was a dream for me. I thought, if I don’t respect my dream, no one else is going to.”

Younus is a senior mentor with utmONE and a volunteer with the AccessAbility Resource Centre. She also works with the Afghan Women’s Network, where she holds support and study groups.

Younus’s next step is to pursue a master’s degree in economics and, possibly, her doctorate.

The John H. Moss scholarship is one of the most prestigious undergraduate awards at the university, awarded annually to only one student among all three campuses.