Five fantastic IES students recognised for their grit

After a record number of nominations, stipends for overcoming adversity were made in honour of one of our former IEGS students

Stipendiefonden till Ellinor Carlssons minne (The Stipend in memory of Ellinor Carlsson) was set up in 2015, honouring a student at Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm who took her final exams despite her diagnosis of sarcoma, which would eventually take her life.

Ellinor showed tremendous amount of grit in her own life and the formation of the stipend was a Christmas present to her, a few days before she passed away. It was her decision that it should be used to reward grit and given to students who show exceptional determination in overcoming difficulties during their studies.

The stipend is not necessarily awarded to the student with the best grades but rather the student who has reached an outstanding result based on their circumstances. Nominations can also include students who have stood up for their beliefs and values and shown moral courage.

This year the stipend jury had a record number of nominations to consider, and after weighing them all carefully they chose two recipients from Internationella Engelska Gymnasiet Södermalm, who each received 15,000 SEK as well as recipients from three IES compulsory schools around Sweden, IES Länna, IES Kista, and for the second time ever, IES Halmstad. Each of the three graduating year nine recipients received 10,000 SEK.

Ellinor’s father, Magnus Carlsson, said: “The winners make me think of the expression ‘Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’ I'm not sure so many of you know the battles that the winners are fighting.”

Many other nominated IES students have shown strength of character, and although not all could receive a stipend, each and every one of them has made their mark and been noticed within their school.

Extracts from the motivations for each stipend awarded

Jubilee Priar, Internationella Engelska Gymnaisiet Södermalm:

Despite anxiety, grief and pain in life, an outstanding degree of performance, always optimistic mindset, the student’s way of making everyone around her laugh, for the way she cares for others, for the way she is helpful towards both students and teachers.

Joanne Okoba, Internationella Engelska Gymnaisiet Södermalm:

She continues to go to school, study hard and help others even when fighting her sorrow and the fear for the future. If there is anyone who would write her IB exams from the hospital bed or continue pushing on in difficult times as Ellinor did - then it is her.

Benhur Berhane, IES Kista:

Although he has not been able to attend school much this year, he has succeeded to maintain excellent grades. Like Ellinor, much of the important school work was done from the hospital bed. Despite this, the student has received fantastic grades. Despite this, he has had a positive impact on his surroundings.

Riyan Yusuf, IES Länna:

Unfailingly kind and respectful to every adult she interacts with, she also will work hard and respectfully with any student. She is often found in lessons calmly explaining difficult concepts or ideas to struggling students without being asked to. When facing darkness she will come back to school with courage, jumping back to the community and continuing to be a spring of hard work, respect and magnanimity.

Bennet Rexhepi, IES Halmstad:

He has reached outstanding results based on his circumstances and he made an incredible journey.  He has kept a great attitude and wholeheartedly trusted his team at school. His path to success has been hard work, to try and try again, and always remain positive.