Inspirational Individual Award 2023

Awarded for achievements and inspiring others by overcoming adversity.

College of Business, Technology and Engineering

Bilaal Ali
Daisy Flatters
Harja Khan
Krishna Harish
Yasmie Ezzedine


Bilaal AliBA (Hons) Accounting and Finance 

What they did:  

“It’s rare these days to find an individual whose actions trailblaze and open the way for others to come. This nomination is for one such individual. This student suffers from a severe sight disability, yet his hard work, determination and positive attitude overcome their disability and set a positive example for the generations of students to come.  

The student never misses a class, participates in the classroom, asks for extra projects in order to solidify his knowledge and smiles to everyone, even if he can’t see the reaction of his smile on them. The student painstakingly works many hours per day in order to understand the classroom material, syllable by syllable, word by word. He may not be able to fully see diagrams but he does his best and succeeds to understand their essence.  

The student’s actions and hard work set a solid foundation for his career and represent a positive role model in our university and in the society beyond.” 


What was the impact? 

“The student has passed the module I teach, with a very high mark. The student has opened the path for more sight disabled students to join our university. Thanks to the nominee, our academics and support services are now more aware of the ways and material that could help students with similar disabilities.” 


How it inspired others:  

“The student’s actions and hard work set a solid foundation for his career and represent a positive role model in our university and in the society beyond.”

College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences

Simon Gregson
Gemma Extence
Rory Staunton
Lewis Richardson
Yordanos Tesfamariam Gebrehiwot


Yordanos Tesfamariam Gebrehiwot BSC (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)

What they did:  

“They are one of the young asylum seekers who had to flee their home with their daughter and found sanctuary in the UK. All alone in a new country, without the love and support of their family, this inspiring individual had to try and rebuild their life. While their case was pending during the lengthy immigration process, they were not allowed to work and Student Finance England denied their student loan. Although going to university was a faraway dream, they did not give up. They received a Sanctuary Scholarship and is now studying the stimulating and challenging course, Mental Health Nursing. This student embodies remarkable strength, resilience, and commitment to their ambition. They are passionate, caring and kind. They work incredibly hard to transform the lives of individuals and communities. Their dedication to their course and practice-based learning environments is inspiring.” 


What was the impact? 

“They have overcome so much adversity. They are compassionate and want to make sure that they continue to support others. Their ambition is to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. to become a psychiatrist and open a rehabilitation centre, to help young people aged 13-26, who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and sexually exploited. They are so willing to support the Development and Alumni Relations Office so that more students can receive donor-funded scholarships. Their story was one of the key stories that were shared with prospective donors during the 2022 Hallam Fund Telephone Campaign. This student has also attended donor events and shared their story with alumni, staff and donors inspiring them to continue supporting scholarship programmes so that more students going through adversity can get the opportunity to pursue a brighter future.” 


How did it inspired others:  

“Their story, their ambition, their positive outlook, and their willingness to always support others and make a transformation difference have inspired supporters of Sheffield Hallam University to continue donating to programmes like the Sanctuary Scholarship. The student has opened doors for more individuals who are going through similar difficulties to benefit from this support.”

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Oluwaseun Ayobami Sokunbi
AJ Huntington
Samantha Cleasby
Elliot Norris
Georgia Hanson

The winner in this category sadly passed away before they were able to receive their award. Please visit Oluwaseun Ayobami Sokunbi’s page to read their story.

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