No Mind Left Behind

All across the island of Ireland there are promising young people from areas of disadvantage who need an opportunity to enter third-level education. No Mind Left Behind is an initiative developed by The Ireland Funds to give promising young people an opportunity to complete their third-level education by providing an annual scholarship to cover the costs of books, accommodation and other key expenses.

I’m just so grateful that someone out there was willing to donate to give me a better college experience. It’s a really heart-warming thing to know that someone would do that.

— Adam - Donegal. Studying Biomedical Sciences, TCD


No Mind Left Behind

Since 2011, No Mind Left Behind has provided scholarships valued at €3.7 million to over 200 students to pursue their undergraduate studies. In 2021, with the help from The Ireland Funds, students were able to advance their education at 28 different third-level institutions across Ireland, the UK, and the Netherlands. Thanks to our Donors’ commitment to education, No Mind Left Behind is projected to provide a record number of scholarships: up to 263 students in 2022-2023.

“I COME FROM A FAMILY OF 5 KIDS. We live in a small town called Buncrana in County Donegal. I’m currently studying biological and biomedical sciences here in Trinity. Hopefully after that I’d love to specialize in genetics and ideally go into research. I first heard about the No Mind Left Behind scholarship through my secondary school. In Buncrana there’s just not a lot of job opportunities for people my age, because it’s such a small town. I applied and a couple weeks later my principal called me. I was over the moon. My parents couldn’t believe it. I was thinking I was going to have to take out a student loan, I had already made an application and everything. Coming from a family with five kids, my parents will eventually have to put four others through university. It’s a weight off their shoulders and it has meant I can immerse myself fully in the college experience. It also means I can afford everything from books to a lab coat and occasionally go home and see my family. I’ve heard from a lot of my fellow students that they find it extremely hard to balance studies with work, particularly in our course as it’s very information-heavy. In that way the scholarship has benefited me as I’m able to focus solely on my studies without having to work long hours at night.”
Adam – Donegal. Studying Biomedical Sciences, TCD (2020)

“I WAS BORN IN NIGERIA and came to Ireland when I was three years old when my family was seeking asylum. My family lives just outside Drogheda. In secondary school I got good grades, was involved with sports and I just loved school! At the end of my time there, my principal contacted me and said, ‘I was talking with your teachers and they tell me you are a great student. There is a scholarship for you…’ I hadn’t been working hard thinking it would result in that. The fact that my work had been noticed was so meaningful. I had always hoped to continue my studies but the logistics and cost of everything from accommodation to costs was overwhelming. I hadn’t wanted to stress my family out with it. When I told my mom about the scholarship, she cried. She knew how hard I’d been working. She knew how late I would stay up to finish just one more chapter. There is no way my parents would have been able to pay for my accommodation and expenses for college. The No Mind Left Behind scholarship allows me to focus on my academics rather than having to work during the weekends. One day I was just thinking about this scholarship, ‘Imagine. Someone I don’t know is actually giving their money for people like me to study.’”
Wuraola – Drogheda. Studying Life Sciences, UCD (2020)

“At home in Limerick we were really stuck. I finished school but took a year off to work and get a foothold in order to save for college. I was working almost 40 hours a week cleaning a nursing home in the day and a shopping centre at night. It was tough. My local parish priest and my primary school principal heard about the No Mind Left Behind Scholarship from The Ireland Funds and nominated me. It was my priest who called me and told me I had been selected. My family was just delighted. Limerick is my home, but they knew my dream was to go to Galway to study psychology. Now that I’m here? The competition is stiff and I will have to work hard. Even a holiday is a chance to be in the library to study. My hope is to go into clinical psychology so I can understand how the mind works. Having this scholarship means I don’t have to take time away from studying to travel to Limerick on the weekends to work or find a job here in Galway. Having this scholarship has enabled me to go on this journey and grab an opportunity to forge out my life.”
Adam – Moyross. Studying Psychology, NUI Galway (2014)