A $30,000 scholarship was given to a woman in engineering Wednesday a part of a memorial to the women murdered in the massacre at Montreal’s Polytechnique 26 years ago.

A dark day in 1989 turned into a bright moment thanks to the first Order of the White Rose scholarship, awarded to University of Calgary mechanical engineering student Tara Gholami.

Gholami was raised in Iran until age 11 and was inspired by her mother, also an engineer.

The Order of the White Rose scholarship was established last year on the 25th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre.

It is chosen by a nine-person jury who look for candidates who pursuing their dreams and are role models for other girls and women who want to have careers in science and engineering

Gholami, who is 23, said exposing boys and girls to strong female role models is key to fair treatment.

“We can really raise a generation in which … women are allowed to be a part of the technical field just as much as men are. I am hopeful because I see that we have come a long way in this regard and I know that with the help of organizations such as the Order of the White Rose, we can raise awareness enough until one day no person, woman or man, will doubt the importance of potential of female engineers,” she said.

Gholami is now pursuing her graduate studies at Stanford University in California.