From Toronto, Ontario, Joyce Muyiyi is in her first year of engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science at UBC Okanagan. A recipient of the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Award, Joyce is full of gratitude for donors who are giving their support to Black students at UBC.
“This is a life-changing award!” says Joyce. “Since the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Award is specific to Black students entering UBC, I’m excited to see the community it will create for people who look like me.” She adds, “I’m looking forward to exploring my career path and also giving back to the community.”
Coming from an extended family of engineers, Joyce was always interested in technology and is looking forward to deciding which branch of engineering she’ll major in. She’d also like to see increased representation of Black women in STEM.
“Looking in my classes, there are four or five of us among 400 students. I want to create a safe space for minorities or people who are underrepresented in the career path they’re on.”
The financial support of the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Award has been transformative for both Joyce and her family.
“It’s helped me move around comfortably,” says Joyce. “It’s also created a financial cushion for my family—especially my Mom since she’s the sole income earner of our family. When she heard I got the award, she had such a smile on her face! She said, ‘A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.'”
Joyce also finds life balance is an essential part of her wellbeing—and engages in other interests, such as art and cuisine.
“I do enjoy, in my free time, painting and being creative. I love drawing and have done self-portraits, digital art, sketching,” says Joyce. “I also love cooking food! My Mom used to work a lot, so I cooked dinner for my younger siblings. I like experimenting and creating new cuisines and recipes.”
Joyce is grateful to donors for creating community and supporting Black students at UBC with the Beyond Tomorrow Scholars Award. It already has her thinking of the future—and how she might give back to her community by encouraging Black women to enter the STEM disciplines.
“The Greater Toronto Area I grew up in has one of the biggest Black and immigrant populations in Canada,” says Joyce. “I want to go back in my community and uplift those who, without the money and resources, are discouraged from higher education, and hopefully see more people like me in STEM career paths such as engineering.”