Award created in memory of a dedicated employee of Glasgow Children’s University


Students in graduation outfit

The colleagues of an education worker in Strathclyde, who tragically died just 25 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, have created a special award in her honor.

Samia Afzal, Educational Liaison Officer at the University of Strathclyde, was passionate about her work with Glasgow Children’s University.

Woman in graduation gown

Following her untimely death in 2019, her University co-workers created the annual Glasgow University for Children Samia Afzal Award for Outstanding Student Achievement. This reflects his love of the role and the opportunities the program provides for additional learning experiences for children and youth.

Inaugural Prize

Inspirational schoolgirl Rebecca Kyle has now become the first recipient and the seven primary student at St Rose of Lima Primary in Glasgow received the award by one of Samia’s former colleagues, the headmistress of the Children’s University of Glasgow, Aileen Wilson.

In a moving ceremony at the school, more than 120 other students of St. Rose of Lima also received a total of 379 children’s university certificates.

Inner strength

Aileen Wilson said: “Samia had a love of life, new experiences and learning new things and was particularly keen to live her life to the fullest after her illness. She faced her diagnosis with all inner strength. quite remarkable for someone her age and throughout her life the treatment surprised the medical team, her family and colleagues with her determination to return to the job she loved.

“A Strathclyde Scholarship for an Extended Access Student was created in Samia’s name, but we wanted to create something that relates more to Children’s University. This award is for a student who has not just registered a high number of credits, but that pushed them out of their comfort zone to try new things, learn new skills, and be an inspiration to others – just like Samia. “

Celebrate learning

Rebecca, 11, is the first Glasgow Children’s University student to achieve the highest Gold Fellowship honor, having earned 1,000 credits with CU, which promotes and celebrates learning and achievement that takes place beyond classroom.

Schoolgirl in graduation gown holding an award

Aileen Wilson added: “We are delighted that Rebecca is the first recipient and I know Samia would feel incredibly proud. Rebecca was an inspiration with her determination to reach her goal of Children’s University and now has younger students. who follow in his footsteps to reach 1,000 credits by the seventh grade, while challenging themselves to try new things, like learning sign language. “

When Samia was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2018, she underwent difficult treatment, including surgery to remove the tumor, as well as radiation and chemotherapy, but remained dedicated to her job.
When she returned to work at Strathclyde in November 2018, she suggested that her follow-up scan appointments could be scheduled around her work. As the Glasgow Children’s University’s annual awards and graduation ceremony approached in June 2019, she was not feeling well but continued to work to help organize a record breaking event.

Aileen added: “It was the last day we saw Samia. Sadly the cancer had returned and she passed away peacefully shortly after at St Vincent’s Hospice.”

Samia’s mother, Shameem said: “We are really touched by the award and very happy that Samia’s name continues. I know Samia herself would have been over the moon. She was passionate about her work and loved working with it. children, then that’s very appropriate. “

St Rose of Lima Deputy Director Mary Moore said, “We are incredibly proud of Rebecca’s accomplishments. She points out that she couldn’t have done it without the wonderful support of our Children’s University volunteers, Linda, Nicola and Geraldine. We also cannot ignore the encouragement and support from her beloved family, whom I know could not be more proud of.

“Her own determination and commitment have also been at the heart of her accomplishments and the achievements of others. I have no doubt that Rebecca will continue to achieve great things – maybe one day she will be part of the team there. ‘University for children or will be a mentor herself. “

Established in June 2013, Glasgow Children’s University is a partnership between Curiosity Collective, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow City Council, schools and other organizations. Membership is open to children in participating schools in the Glasgow City area for children aged 5-14.


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