Help Charles Finish Grad School!

Short Version of my GoFundMe Campaign: with a deadline of August 31st, 2018, I need your help to complete the second half of my Double Master’s Degree in Public Health. After having a stellar first year of studies, achieving a Cumulative GPA of 3.84 (UK Weighted Average of 74% = Distinction), significantly contributing to public health practice and raising awareness of The Bahamas internationally, I face a shortfall in educational funding (after being unsuccessful in obtaining several major Bahamian academic scholarships)

This GoFundMe has been established to address my tuition gap for my final year of study: €8000 (approx. £7140). The remaining funding will go towards supporting living expenses (a requirement for European student visa processes).  

If all of my Facebook friends contributed just $20 USD/BSD (or £20), we could reach this goal together. Whether or not you are able to contribute, please share this link so your friends can join in supporting our goal.

Any changes to funding obtained or timelines will be reported on this platform. 

Hello Fellow Supporters and Dreamers,

Last year, I profoundly witnessed the power of generosity as friends near and far put their faith, and support, in a young man with a passion for national service and a dream of higher education. With their financial support (including private and corporate donations), and my personal savings - I was able to participate in the very competitive Erasmus Mundus Europubhealth+ Joint Master’s Degree  program

The Overview:

Europubhealth+ (EPH+), since its inception 10 years ago, has over 300 alumni from over 70 countries. EPH+ provides a unique opportunity for participants to obtain a Double Master’s Degree in Public Health (delivered by six top European universities), while experiencing international mobility across the European continent, and obtaining practical public health experience through a competitive work placement scheme.

My Double Master’s Degree pathway has taken me so far to the University of Sheffield - School of Health and Related Research - ScHARR (England: Sept 2017-June 2018); École des hautes études en santé publique - EHESP (Rennes, France: June-July 2018 & June-July 2019 anticipated); and Jagiellonian University Medical College (Krakow, Poland: Oct 2018-Jan 2019) for specialization in Governance of Health Systems in Transition (Public Health Policy/Administration and Health Economics).

I was humbled to be The Bahamas’ first male (and second student) to participate in the program, so I hit the ground running to not only excel academically but to also be a strong ambassador for the greatest little country in the world.

This is succinctly summarized in a humbling article from the Nassau Guardian, where I was featured as “Making Waves” in Europe and being a strong role-model, for young black men and Bahamians in academia.

Academic Achievements:

I obtained an outstanding 3.94 GPA (UK Equivalent = 76% = Distinction) in my first semester, and managed to complete my studies at the University of Sheffield with a Cumulative GPA of 3.84 (UK Equivalent = 74% = Distinction), while significantly contributing to academic, civic and extracurricular activities on campus.

Civic/Extra-curricular Activities:

Co-Founder of the Sheffield World Health Organization Simulation (SheffWHO) : a 3 day conference that brought together over 80 students, alumni and young professionals (from across the UK, Europe and as far away as South Korea) to be trained in global health and diplomacy, while simulating the World Health Organization’s largest annual meeting - the World Health Assembly.

This event was the first of its kind in Sheffield, 2nd in the UK, and 4th to be held in Europe and achieved a stunning 100% approval and referral rating from participants.  

SheffWHO has received numerous awards and recognition including:

a) The University of Sheffield Academic Awards Winner for Best Student Led Activity 2018 

b) The University of Sheffield - "Innovation in Academic Skills Development" (Nomination)

c) The Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) “EMA in the Spotlight” to encourage, recognize and promote outstanding achievements of its EMA members.

d) Transnational Coverage in The Bahamas, UK, France, and Taiwan.

e) Recognition from Bahamas High Commission in London for the importance of SheffWHO in relation to diplomacy for Small Island Developing States and by various workers in international organizations for honing skills of the next generation of public health/global health practitioners.

SheffWHO was a passion project, ran on volunteer time and is now set to be an ongoing fixture in the event calendar at the University of Sheffield.

Aside from running SheffWHO (which essential was a second (unpaid) job), I also:

1) Worked a night-time shift job in the Fall 2017 semester
2) Worked a part-time as an Alumni Engagement Assistant (recommendation in the link) in the Sheffield Management School in the Spring 2018 semester 
3) Represented ScHARR students on the University of Sheffield Students' Union Council (Oct 2017-June 2018)
4) Represented EPH+ students on my faculty’s (ScHARR) student-staff committee (Oct 2017-June 2018)
5) Represented over 5000 University of Sheffield International Students at the National Union of Students (NUS) International Students’ Conference  (Feb 2018)
6) Designed and Co-facilitated a presentation on “Addressing Cross-Cultural Issues in Global Health Research” at the Swedish Global Health Research Conference, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (April 2018)

I also managed to still find time to have a work-life balance, being members of several student societies/clubs and was recognized as being “Most Inspirational Student” by the University of Sheffield - Public Health Society.

The Challenge:

It was not an easy year, but it certainly was one of the most rewarding years of my life. I have made this GoFundMe because I need your support to finish the second half of my Double Master’s Program, as strongly as I started it.

I have applied for several scholarships in The Bahamas to support funding the second year of my studies. And although I had a stellar performance this academic year, I was not successful in obtaining one of the major awards that I hoped would prevent me from coming to the public for support.

I await word back from a Bahamas Government scholarship, however, I recognize the financial difficulty that the country is currently facing and the amount of Bahamians competing for awards. Even if I am successful, I would still have a shortfall of some funding needed to complete the payment of my tuition.

Although my family is proud of my achievements, they are unable to support funding of my educational expenses. My dad (since his stroke several years ago) is a pensioner and my mom is a teacher. They support where they can. I have also exhausted savings and liquidating assets to make sure I could do my first year of study, and therefore, cannot secure a loan.

Current Academic Funding:  

I have already received a commitment for an Erasmus Mundus Mobility Grant to support living expenses in Poland (which is 33% cheaper than Sheffield and 53% cheaper than New Providence). I have also managed to secure a short-term consultancy with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Office in The Bahamas, with most savings going towards school expenses.

I also have interviews lined up for several organizations interested in taking me on for paid work placements (a mandatory part of my degree) starting January 2019.

The Commitment:

I have always valued an education. Even more so as I have found my passion as a public health practitioner. Students and academic staff can tell you, that the entire time I have been in Europe, I have done nothing but raise the profile of the country in academic papers, presentations, discussions, and debates. My passion is to serve this country, as it has provided me with so much and our people need young and committed people to assist in national development.

I made commitments to keeping the general public abreast of my academic and social activities in the UK and remained committed to keeping sponsors aware of my progress through personal emails, social media updates and the newspaper highlight in the Nassau Guardian.

You can believe that I will be committed in this second year, as I have to write a thesis that I am committed to having The Bahamas be a central theme.

This GoFundMe has been established to address my tuition gap for my final year of study: €8000 (approx. £7140). The remaining funding will go towards supporting living expenses (a requirement for European Student Visa Processes). 

If all of my Facebook friends contributed just $20 USD/BSD (or £20), we could reach this goal together. Whether or not you are able to contribute, please share this link so your friends can join in supporting our goal.

I look forward to your support in furthering student success and contributing to the growth and development of The Bahamas.

Kind regards,

N. Charles Hamilton

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Charles Hamilton 
Post Office, Yorkshire and the Humber, United Kingdom
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