Yogyakarta – A total of 20 students from Universitas Kristen Duta Wacana (UKDW) Yogyakarta shared their academic journeys, struggles, and hopes, culminating in receiving scholarships from the Scranton Women’s Leadership Center (SWLC) from South Korea. In a meeting held on June 14, 2024, in the Rev. Harun Hadiwijono Seminar Room at UKDW, these students met directly with the Director of SWLC, Dr. Heasun Kim. The event showcased the resilience and aspirations of the students, as well as the impactful support from donors and the university in helping the younger generation, especially women, to achieve higher education and contribute to society.

These students are recipients of the Scranton Scholarship for the 2023/2024 academic year and newly announced recipients for the 2024/2025 academic year. They come from various study programs at UKDW, including Information Systems, Informatics, Humanities Studies, English Education, Biology, Management, Product Design, and the Doctoral Program in Theology.

Dr. Heasun Kim’s visit to UKDW was warmly welcomed by the Rector, Vice-Rector III, Head of the Office of Cooperation and Public Relations, Head and Deputy Head of the Office of Student Affairs, Alumni, and Career Development, and the advisor for the Gender Study Group at UKDW. Her presence symbolized the strong partnership between SWLC and UKDW in their mission to empower women through education.

In her speech, UKDW Rector Dr. -Ing Wiyatiningsih, S.T., M.T. highlighted the importance of the scholarship program and its profound impact on the lives of the recipients. “Education is a powerful tool for change,” she said. “We are proud to support these young women in their educational journeys and strive to make a difference in their communities.”

The students shared their experiences and the various challenges they faced, including financial difficulties, social pressures, and personal challenges that threatened to derail their educational aspirations. However, with the support of the Scranton Scholarship, they were able to overcome these obstacles and pursue their dreams.

Rosa, one of the scholarship recipients from Papua, spoke about the challenges of facing various stigmas as a woman and as a Papuan. “As a Papuan, I have faced many obstacles, but I am determined to succeed and make my community proud,” Rosa said. “I hope my journey inspires other young people from Papua to pursue their dreams and never give up, no matter how difficult the path may seem.”

Another student, Adel, shared a very touching story during the meeting. Adel won the 2024 Scranton Essay Contest, an award that brought great pride to her family. She recalled the emotional moment when she told her mother about her victory; her mother cried tears of joy upon hearing the news. This achievement, Adel explained, was not just a personal milestone but also a testament to the hard work and support of her family.

Dr. Kim responded to the students’ stories with appreciation and encouragement. She reiterated SWLC’s mission to support students in pursuing their dreams, developing their potential, and becoming female leaders who can contribute to society. 

Through various scholarship programs, academic support, and partnerships with institutions like SWLC, UKDW actively supports young women in pursuing their dreams and becoming future leaders. This commitment not only directly benefits the students but also contributes to the broader development of society by equipping women with the knowledge and skills needed to bring about positive change. [drr]