The scholarship is worth £2,000 a year for three academic years of her four-year MSci Nursing degree, which she started in September.
Hawa said: “I am excited to be attending Leicester because I know what I am going to study will result in me doing my dream career as a nurse.
“When I went to the open day at Leicester University I really fell in love with the place and knew it was where I wanted to study. I was so impressed with the medical equipment and the practical facilities they provide. They have everything you need.”
Hawa initially wanted to become a doctor before looking at midwifery and finally settling on nursing.
“I am a very caring person by nature and wondered how I could use that professionally,” she said. “I decided I wanted to do something in the healthcare sector and chose to focus on becoming a nurse.”
While on her course at WestKing, Hawa completed a work placement at Whittington Hospital in north London.
She said: “I was really inspired by people working at the hospital and what I saw there and the tasks they asked me to do. I don’t like just waiting around and it seemed like an exciting and busy place to work.
“It’s a very rewarding profession and a job where I feel I can make a difference to people’s lives and be proud of myself. If I can help someone who might be having a difficult time and put a smile on their face, it makes me smile.”
Hawa was full of praise for her teachers at WestKing and the support she had from the college’s Careers Service in helping her get a place at university.
“The teachers really made sure we understood what we were doing. I am the type to always ask questions and they provided information and guidance for the coursework we had to do.
“They were very knowledgeable and were able to share a lot of their experience with us. When it came to choosing a university, the staff were very helpful in narrowing me down to one future goal and supporting me with my application.”
WestKing offers a wide range of Health and Social Care courses from Levels 1-3, as well as Access to Higher Education Diploma courses in Nursing, Midwifery, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Psychosocial Studies.
Sally Edozie, Lecturer in Health and Social Care, said: “Hawa is a determined and confident young lady who was very clear from the very beginning of her course that she wanted to enter the nursing sector. Her scholarship is well deserved and recognition of the work and effort she put into her studies at WestKing.
“It always brings me joy to see my learners succeed and to have their hard work acknowledged. I have no doubt that Hawa’s drive will enable her to excel and succeed at university and her goal to become a nurse.”
Sarah Tompkins, Global Recruitment Officer at the University of Leicester, said: “We really enjoy working with students at WestKing to support them on their path to Higher Education. We’re pleased to welcome Hawa to our campus, and we hope this scholarship supports her aspirations – we are sure she will be hugely successful in her MSci Nursing course.”