People with educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to apply for scholarships than others. A Hamburg student wants to change that and help them gain access to this funding.
Student Patrick Stuck has just returned from his semester abroad in Ireland and is already helping out in the town of Hansetic.
In addition to studying biotechnology at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), Staak is the second chairman of the non-profit organization ApplicAid. The goal of the organization is to help talented people from educationally disadvantaged groups on their way.
The association was founded in 2019 and is based in Hamburg. The concept of ApplicAid was presented by Backtosch Mustafa at a model UN conference in Panama in March 2018. Patrick Stock has been with the organization from the beginning.
t-online: How did you volunteer to join this organization?
Patrick Stack: Social commitment has always been very important to me personally. Already during and after my school days I volunteered as a paramedic and supported the “Initiative AIAS Hamburg eV – Students at Blood Cancer” as a member.
I was extremely inspired and wanted to find something for myself. Bactosh Mustafa drew my attention to the scholarship. This is because people with educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to apply for scholarship programs, receive less support from those around them, and are less likely to be accepted. The Mercator Foundation Scholarship Study from 2016 confirms this.
This situation inspired me to be interested in scholarships myself and to apply for something. I suddenly saw a whole new world of possibilities that had been hidden from me before. I will admit that I had my own prejudices about scholarships, thinking that they were only for the best.
Today I know that it will not necessarily be, because in addition to social commitment, personality is also considered more. Since I myself come from a “non-academic family” and am studying for the first time in my family, I know exactly what obstacles our target group faces. I want to access fair scholarships. So I’m still involved with ApplicAid.
How does volunteering affect you personally?
Volunteering really gives me so much, I really want to emphasize it. Because it allows me to start with a relatively little professional experience, implement ideas and gain experience – which includes management experience.
I see this as something very valuable for my personal development. And I can work with really great people in a team, which I really appreciate. I can develop more skills that you will need later in your professional life, but also in your personal life. Commitment to society – which makes you happy. Because that’s how you help others and help where you really need it.
Why would politics support volunteer work?
Because it immediately strengthens the social context and encourages social participation. This is especially important in a democracy. Also, social problems and challenges are often recognized by those directly affected by them.
It is important that people pay attention to these allegations and campaign for these issues through social commitment. This makes it much easier for politicians to draw attention and call for action.
Why should affiliate partners work closely with ApplicAid?
At ApplicAid, we’ve just acknowledged this problem in the scholarship system and want to help people with educationally disadvantaged backgrounds on their way to scholarships. We have a wide range of expertise in the systematic improvement of personal support offers.
Our organization brings together the knowledge and experience of scholarship holders, judges, foundation representatives and many more who work with the scholarship system. It gives us a different perspective on different problems. In addition, we do not provide scholarships ourselves, but we are independent and non-profit partners for what needs to be done with scholarships.
What exactly should change?
In politics, there is a need to raise awareness that voluntary commitment really solves many problems and so it is very valuable. There is a lot of really great publicity. I want them to develop better.
Experience has shown, especially in recent times, that volunteers can benefit greatly from further digitization: not only us, but many other organizations are leading the way. Offering more personal support to social entrepreneurs or youth organizations can help strengthen this area.
Because we must not underestimate that social commitment is also a special opportunity that we must first be able to afford financially, but also ideally.
What do you want for 2022 and your club?
We really have some plans. On the one hand, we want to create a permanent full-time position – this is a big and important goal. We also want to make internships possible. And then we want to expand our reach.
We want to be more familiar and support more people on the path to scholarship. We want to continue sustainable systemic change. Finally, I would like to emphasize how satisfied I am that we are now on an equal board with Nicole Heisberg, Caroline Brett and Bactosh Mustafa – together we will achieve a lot as a team.
Disclaimer: News portal T-Online is an offer from Strower Content Group, in collaboration with the “Helping Hands” campaign.