Having come to the U.S. at age 15 as a refugee with no English, she graduated college with a double major and plans to become an attorney.
I was 11 years old and living in Syria when the civil war broke out. Although it seemed far away at first, the government eventually bombed an area right near our home.
When my parents tried to help our neighbors, my father was arrested and accused of working with the terrorists. We paid and paid to get him back. As soon as they let him go, we began the fifty-mile trek to neighboring Lebanon, even though my father could barely walk because of what they’d done to him.
At the end of a very long journey, we resettled in Dallas, missing our home, and speaking no English. Nevertheless, my parents—both dentists in Syria—my sisters, and I were all determined to work as hard as we could to start our new lives.
When I was a senior in high school, I applied for a college scholarship from The Scholarship Fund. Thank God, the Fund helped me every year at The University of Texas at Dallas. Now I’m graduating college early, with a double major in biology and criminology.
I look forward to going to medical school and to becoming a forensic pathologist. But first, I’m taking a year off to work; our whole family is taking turns working and going to school. The Scholarship Fund is also currently helping my mother attend school to become a dental hygienist. My father has been working as a dental assistant to bring in money, but he is hoping to eventually go back to dental school.
Education is the key—and without help from The Scholarship Fund, I don’t know how we’d be doing it.
“Education is the key—and without help from The Scholarship Fund, I don’t know how we’d be doing it.”–Aiya Almzayen, graduating from college early with a double major, planning to become a forensic pathologist