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Free tuition contest gives winner ‘peace of mind’

Author: Hilary Creamer Robinson

Posted on Oct 19, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

It was mid-June when Sam Kyataka, in his final year of high school, found out he was the winner of the University of New Brunswick (UNB) annual free tuition contest. He was sitting in class at Fredericton High School when he was called to the office, “I thought I was in trouble,” he said.

Like many students entering their first year at UNB, Sam entered the contest online. “I never thought I would win,” he said, “but I am so grateful I did.”

He called his mother right away to share the news. “She was very excited. She couldn’t believe it at first,” he said.

Sam was born in Congo and grew up in Uganda. He and his family moved to New Brunswick in 2018.

“Growing up the way we did, my mom taught us not to take anything for granted.”

Sam is the first person in his family to attend a Canadian university and is pursuing a degree in computer science with the goal of becoming a software engineer.

The win couldn’t have come at a better time, he said, because money at home was tight. Sam said it has taken a huge amount of stress off his family.

“Winning the free scholarship has really helped me focus on my academics instead of stressing about financing my education,” he said. “It really means a lot.”

“Before the announcement, I was thinking of how I was going to pay my first year of tuition. It just gave me a peace of mind.”