A Forman Christian College (FCCU) graduate is a finalist for the McCall MacBain Scholarships, Canada’s largest leadership-based scholarships for master’s and professional studies.

The scholarships are the result of a landmark C$200 million gift in 2019 by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, then the largest single donation in Canadian history.

Designed to encourage purposeful leadership, the scholarships enable students to pursue a fully funded master’s or professional degree at McGill University while participating in mentorship, coaching, and a leadership development program. McGill is ranked 30th best university in the world by QS World University Rankings 2024.

Komal Javed, from Burewala, is among 37 international finalists from around the world. She is one of three finalists from Pakistan. Students and graduates of more than 2,250 universities applied for the scholarships, and 277 participated in a first round of regional interviews in October and November.

She will travel to Canada for the first time to attend final interviews in March, with travel expenses covered by the scholarship program.

Each finalist was chosen based on their character, community engagement, leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, academic strength, and intellectual curiosity.

Komal serves as a Research Fellow at the Office of the Ombudsman Punjab, focusing on research to enhance the protection and promotion of citizen’s rights, and runs an online thrift store for locally sourced sarees and printed socks. She previously volunteered teaching college students non-violent communication, worked as a freelance writer, and collaborated with local teachers to develop language and art programs for 30 orphaned children.

Komal completed a bachelor’s degree at FCCU in 2021. She was the first woman president of the geography society, and she aims to pursue a master’s degree in urban planning or geography.

“Being a McCall MacBain Scholarship finalist marks the peak of my journey, starting from uncertain roots in rural South Punjab,” said Komal. “FCCU shaped my skills and sparked a deep passion for creating meaningful change. This opportunity reflects the transformative power of education and the resilience gained through navigating uncertainties. It’s a simple yet powerful reminder: every step matters.”

“Integrity, kindness, curiosity, and courage are the characteristics we want to see in the next generation of leaders,” said Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain, Chair of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “By connecting emerging talent to an outstanding graduate education and a community of peers and mentors, we hope to encourage positive leadership for Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the world.”

“More than 300 senior volunteer leaders were involved in selecting this year’s finalists,” said Natasha Sawh, Chief Executive Officer of the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill. “Our team is very much looking forward to welcoming the finalists – who have already distinguished themselves as the top candidates globally – to Montreal in March. We extend our warmest thanks to the universities that nominated them for this opportunity.”

A cohort of up to 30 McCall MacBain Scholars will be selected after final interviews. International finalists who are not selected for the cohort will be eligible to receive a $20,000 Finalist Award.

Applications will open in June 2024 for the 2025 cohort. In addition to the 30 fully funded McCall MacBain Scholarships each year, up to 100 additional awards, valued at $5,000 to $20,000, are offered to candidates. More information about the McCall MacBain Scholarships can be found at mccallmacbainscholars.org

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