Elijah Alvares wins ECHO Award HBO

4 Feb 2022 13:53 | Communication

On 3 February 2022, the ECHO Awards were presented: an award given to role models in inclusive education. Elijah Alvares of AUAS was among the award-winners, picking up the ECHO Award HBO.

On 3 February, four students from non-western backgrounds received the ECHO Awards 2021 live from the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Netherlands Railways) congress centre. The awards were presented by Minister Dijkgraaf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The winning students set themselves apart thanks to their excellent academic achievements, enterprising attitude, organisational abilities, active social commitment and constructive approach in relation to challenges related to exclusion within society. This year, the nominees included two from AUAS: final-year Public Administration student and project leader at the Education and Student Affairs Office Elijah Alvares, and graduate Master’s student in Digital Design at AUAS Nour Sadat. Elijah Alvares won the ECHO Award HBO (for the higher professional education sector). His reward consists of a full summer course at UCLA in Los Angeles.

Inclusive culture

Elijah is most proud of the gender-neutral toilets which he implemented in his former role as student assessor, together with other students and stakeholders within Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. “There are now gender-neutral toilets on every floor and in every AUAS building, but we’re not there yet. The next question arising is: does everyone feel safe using the toilets and how can we create a more inclusive culture within the university and society at large? There is still a lot of work to be done in this area”, Elijah says. According to the jury, Elijah’s strength lies in his ability to make the transition from institutional issues to individual, marginalised communities. “And all with a healthy sense of humour.”

Equal starting position

The ECHO Award is an annual incentive award presented by ECHO, an expertise centre on diversity policy. The award creates opportunities for students to achieve an equal starting position and contributes to greater visibility and dialogue around reinforcing diversity and inclusion within education and the labour market. A total of 14 finalists were nominated for the ECHO Award in the categories ECHO Award HBO, ECHO Award WO, Loyens & Loeff Law and Tax Award, and the Technology Award.