The GRAGOPEAN Scholarship Trust awards thousands of dollars each year to students with an SCI or related physical disability pursuing post-secondary education in BC. Read on to learn how this funding helped Mujtabaa Saloojee pursue his unique passions for art and engineering.
What are you currently studying?
I’m currently in the art program at Emily Carr University. I’m also taking 3-D digital design in an animation course, as well as a building codes and barrier-free design class in the interior design program at LaSalle College Vancouver.
Why did you choose these programs?
I chose these programs for multiple reasons. I’m an artist and want to expand my skills and knowledge in the art field. I also want to gain more experience with the art community in Vancouver.
I chose 3-D digital design because I have always been interested in engineering. Due to my spinal cord injury, I’m unable to build things myself and therefore had to learn how to design things in a digital format so they can be produced by someone else or 3-D printed.
I decided to do the building codes and barrier-free design class because accessibility in and around my community directly impacts where I can and cannot go. I’m currently working with an organization to audit and make recommendations to art galleries and museums regarding accessibility for people with disabilities.
How has receiving the GRAGOPEAN Scholarship Trust helped you pursue your academic and personal goals?
Completing these classes will give me a far better understanding of the fields I am already working in. They’ll also provide me with more insight into the industry and strengthen my skills.
How do you hope to use this education to pursue future goals?
Taking these courses has definitely helped level up my skills in my current work environment as an accessibility consultant. It has also given me the confidence to pursue engineering regardless of the fact that I have a spinal cord injury that affects my hand function.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned since receiving the scholarship and starting school?
I have learned many lessons through this process, but I think the main one is learning how to incorporate multiple areas within the art field to create a solid foundation that provides me with a unique skill set to tackle problems in an otherwise unforeseen way.
Do you have any advice for future applicants?
The scholarship is exactly what I needed to take the next step in my career development. It gave me the freedom to do different classes at different schools and I would highly recommend it to anyone that’s interested.