Grande Ecole program
Yasmine is one of the hundreds of young people the Foundation has assisted for many years.
She tells us about the support she received from the Foundation and its donors, without which she would never have been able to attend HEC.
What was your life like before joining HEC?
On paper, I wasn’t really destined for an HEC education. I grew up a few kilometers from the Paris peripherique, in a suburb inspired by the ugliest of Le Corbusier’s works. I started school in a socalled “difficult” institution, where I nonetheless received a remarkable education from my passionate and dedicated teachers. I grew up in a family of immigrants, not povertystricken, but very modest. I never had a bedroom or desk to myself, simple pleasures were rare, but I had everything I needed to get by.
Did you ever dream of studying at HEC?
Where I come from, getting your high school diploma is an end in itself. HEC just isn’t a possibility, not only because of financial barriers but also symbolic ones. Nobody vtalks to us about it, and no one believes we can do it, it’s another world, not for us, it doesn’t even cross our mind. So in the end, how did you manage to get into HEC? I totally abandoned the idea to begin with. I dreamed of going to an HEC prep school, my teachers encouraged me but my mother made it very clear that financially, a business school would be hell for us, it was simply unimaginable. A few years later, after studying Engineering, I was given the possibility to enrol at HEC in a double degree program. This time I decided to seize the opportunity because a lot had changed in the meantime: the Foundation was now there to help! The support for scholarship students meant my dream could now become a reality.
How valuable was the Foundation’s help?
Without this opportunity, I swear it, I wouldn’t have even attempted the entrance exam. It was an impossible dream coming true. I succeeded in joining HEC and every day I’m amazed by what the school has to offer me, the wealth of people it’s made up of, the great melting pot of ideas brewing here. Thank you to the Foundation for helping me get here.
What would you like to say today to the donors?
When I go back home, I try to convince the young people there to believe in their talent, because people like the Foundation’s donors could be their lucky star. They might have to defy destiny a little, but there are guardian angels looking out for them. By donating to the HEC Foundation, you are helping make French society more progressive, inspiring ambition in young people who didn’t even believe they had a right to it. I can’t wait to be able to do the same later in life and prove to the skeptics that solidarity is a powerful bond.