The Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Award for Excellence was presented to 27 outstanding female students from across the GEMS Education network of schools in the UAE, Middle East and India.
The students were honoured for their outstanding academic performance, leadership skills and their significant contribution to environmental concerns and the communities in which they live. The awards were presented by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at a prestigious ceremony held at Dubai Modern High School.
The award winners from the UAE will receive a scholarship to cover a year’s tuition fee at their respective school.
GEMS Founder and Chairman Sunny Varkey congratulated the students, parents and teachers, and said that the winners have made an indelible impression with their positive and distinctive contributions. “I congratulate these young girls for their exceptional academic achievements and extracurricular excellence, and urge them to pursue excellence in all their future endeavours. These young girls make us feel proud; their success will inspire all our students”
“GEMS launched the Sheikha Fatima Awards to motivate young girls to reach their full potential and seek excellence in every possible way,” added Varkey.
One of the award recipients, Felicia Jesslyn, a year 10 student at the GEMS World Academy, was chosen as the only student from the UAE as the World Maths Ambassador. Another student from Qatar’s Al Khor International School, Dina Sarayra, founded a youth community organization that takes part in social, environmental and humanitarian causes; she is also the bronze and silver recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Despite being the youngest award winner, Alanah Campain has already showed early signs of excellence; the year one student from Royal Dubai School considers herself to be a citizen of the world by raising awareness on global issues, such as the Haiti disaster, and succeeded in collecting 12 large bin bags of used toys and boxes of clothes for children in Africa.
The winners of this year's awards are: Shelina Khanna, Shivani Acharyya, Joicy Jojo, Varshini Shankar, Aswathi Mathew, Eman Yunus, Fatema Kapadia, Lakshmi Sreekumar, Sonali Chopra, Atefeh Saadat, Mavuru Swetha, Varuna Laungani, Clara Wikner, Aisling Casey, Felicia Jesslyn, Raqiba Ismail, Bianca Rijkmans, Alanah Gelabert, Shamsa Ali Al Dharmaki, Priya George, Arwa Abu Gable, Dana Abdallah, Emily Robson, Carlotta Paone, Zeina Al-Mughrabi, Sophia Saldhana, Dina Sarayra and Himanshi Sharma.
The Sheikha Fatima Award for Excellence was launched in 2005 to honour Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, wife of late President His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for her relentless efforts in promoting women’s role in the UAE and bringing them into positions of leadership. The award has evolved since its launch in 2005; last year the award was extended to all female students from GEMS schools in the Middle East, and this year the award was extended to GEMS schools in India.
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