"I only have 3 subjects left to finish my degree," proudly states Oriol Martínez, a chemical engineering student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. This university degree opens up a world of possibilities for Oriol, and he has no shortage of ideas and future projects. "I want to pursue a master's degree and specialize in biological and environmental engineering. I have a startup project underway, and I would also like to spend some time abroad to experience other cultures and ways of doing things," he explains.
Oriol is confident in his abilities and emphasizes that he never doubted his ability to achieve good grades in high school and attend university. However, during his last year of high school, he did not consider going to university. "We were not going through a good economic situation at home, and enrolling without knowing if I would receive a state scholarship was a commitment I couldn't take on," he explains.
After attending a talk by the BarcelonActua Foundation about the U-BAC Scholarships at his school, Galileo Galilei in Nou Barris, Oriol thought that perhaps there was a chance for him. "I felt hopeful," Oriol remarks, emphasizing that if the Foundation believed he could qualify for a scholarship, he had nothing to lose by trying.
Weeks later, Oriol received an email in his inbox. It was a letter informing him of the status of his application. "I read it and started shouting to tell my mother that I had been awarded the U-BAC scholarship," explains Oriol excitedly. His mother was overjoyed, and as they celebrated the good news, she reminded him that he had received it because he deserved it, and she had no doubt that his father would be proud of him.
The U-BAC scholarship covers the tuition fees for all 4 years of university, transportation, educational materials, and English classes. It also provides students with a mentor to offer support and guidance. "This scholarship is what has allowed me to pursue what I truly want in life, without my resources being a limiting factor," admits Oriol. He firmly believes that no one should refrain from considering any path due to a lack of resources.
Now, just a few months away from graduation, Oriol speaks about his university experience with a smile of satisfaction and pride. "Nobody should be afraid to pursue higher education because it is not only an academic experience but also enriches us on a personal level," he emphasizes. He expresses gratitude for the individuals and organizations that work to ensure that people facing inequality can benefit from resources like these.