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WAEC student wins major scholarship

May 28, 2024
Arfa Khatir in front of the Winnipeg Adult Education Centre.

A Winnipeg Adult Education Centre graduate has earned the largest scholarship award in the school’s almost 60-year history.

Arfa Adam Khatir was awarded $80,000 from the University of British Columbia Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Program. The program assists Black Canadian students who are transitioning to UBC from high school or another post-secondary institution. 

“This scholarship is covering my Bachelor of Science and then I plan to go into Medicine,” said Adam Khatir, 19. “I like to help people. It’s something that I’ve liked to do since I was a child.” 

Adam Khatir, who is of Sudanese parentage, moved to Winnipeg from Israel in March of 2023. A month later, she started attending WAEC in pursuit of a Mature Student High School Diploma. 

Adam Khatir was born in Egypt, after her parents fled Sudan due to the War in Darfur. When Adam Khatir was three years old, she and her family moved to Israel where she completed her secondary schooling in Hebrew. She also speaks English, Arabic, and can understand a Sudanese language spoken by her parents. 

“I graduated in 2022 in Israel after 12 years of studying, but when I moved here it was easier to be accepted into universities by having a Canadian diploma,” said Adam Khatir on her reason for attending WAEC. 

“I really enjoy it here. The teachers here are very nice and supportive. They help you find success. I asked one of the teachers why she chose to teach here and she said she feels like she’s part of the pathway to success for her students.”


According to a writeup, Adam Khatir co-authored with WAEC guidance counsellor John Howden, her friends, family and mentor, Cindy Esner, consider her a “determined and brave person” who knows what she wants and is unafraid to “stand up for herself.” 

“I feel like moving to a new country and less than a year later being accepted to university, you need to know what you want in order to do that,” Adam Khatir said. 

“I’ve always put high emphasis on succeeding. My parents taught us that, to have a better education than what they had. My mom never went to school and my father went to school, but very basic, so they always pushed us to have a better education. That’s why they wanted to move to here.”

That sense of determination will serve Adam Khatir well as she embarks on her next big move to B.C.

“I’m excited. Having freedom, starting your own life, being independent of your parents, it’s a huge step,” she said.


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