The first holder of the Lestari Widyastuti scholarship is Fuad Zaka, an UGM student of English language and literature. He is a student from Jombang in East Java, turning 26 in December 2011. He was educated mainly in Islamic schools in Jombang before joining the English department at UGM in 2007, where he is currently working on his skripsi (final thesis). His hobbies are reading, cycling, futsal (indoor football), soccer, badminton and listening to music. He’s been active in a range of student organisations, and has a particular interest in journalism. He’s done research on masks from Malang in East Java, and has had a number of prizes for his English skills, including an UGM translation competition.

Fuad writes about what the scholarship has meant to him:

“To me this scholarship really means something. It allows me to continue my study in the University; that means it gives me a chance to make a better future for myself.”

“Since I am not from a rich family, before receiving the scholarship I had to work as a freelancer in a restaurant to help my parents financing my study. It was really hard for me. After leaving campus I had to go directly to my workplace. Working everyday from 4 to 10 pm affected my studies. I often skipped class, especially if I had afternoon class, otherwise my boss would be angry with me for being late. And I could never join any campus organizations or extracurricular activities. I felt too tired and busy.”

“After receiving the scholarship, everything seems to be better. Every semester I receive the fund from the scholarship, and I use it for paying my course fee. It certainly helps my parents; thus they don’t need to worry about the fee of my study. They only need to think of my daily life expense. And for me, I can help not to burden my parents too much, so I can concentrate fully on my study.”

“Once I received the scholarship, I decided to leave my work, and tried to be more focussed. Hence I never skip class for work anymore, and I can study very well. Further, I can save money for buying my own computer and bicycle. The computer makes my homework and tasks much easier, while the bicycle is a great help. Now I can take part in extracurricular activities eg futsal, and become active in some organizations such as PMII (Indonesian Islamic Students Movement), Imaji-UGM (Association of English Department Students-Universitas Gadjah Mada), etc.”

“Getting the chance to be focussed on my study and to do many activities on campus are the things I should be grateful for as I receive the Lestari Widyastuti Scholarship. Not only that, this scholarship also helps me to open a path to a better future that’s full of opportunities. Someday, hopefully there will be a chance for me to carry on what Lestari had worked on.”

From mid-November 2010 to March 2011, Fuad expanded his inolvement with ACICIS by taking on an ‘ACICIS internship’, which was valuable experience for him, and very helpful and useful for the ACICIS operation in Yogyakarta. This involved general helping out with office duties, of which there are always too many for the time available. He took part in the semester 31 field trip to Imogiri followed by a batik workshop. He helped with the ILTI intesive short course for teachers in December-January 2011, particularly with helping to video the orientation at new year. He helped prepare and carry out the semester 32 Orientation in January 2011, and became a pendamping for that cohort. And he helped to organise the NGO/LSM day in February 2011.

In mid-2011 Fuad is working hard on completing his skripsi on linguistic features of English-language newspaper headlines.