We are continually overwhelmed by the spirit and caliber of students who have applied to our annual High School Scientific Scholarship. Their stories and their determination have truly inspired us. These are the most recent recipients of our award:
We are thrilled to award our 2019 High School Scientific Scholarship to Esmeralda Villa Magana, who is a graduate of Manson High School and who will be attending Wenatchee Valley College.
Esmeralda is the fourth recipient of our annual scholarship. In her application, Esmeralda credits her Mother with motivating her to pursue her dreams, even if they mean breaking the traditional gender barriers of her culture. She shared, “My mom is the reason why I am so driven…For her, and for all the Mexican women, I will break the cultural barrier and become a strong, hard-working woman…In our Mexican culture, a woman’s place was in the home. But that’s not how I see my life…I knew I had to break the stereotype of Hispanic women in the Mexican culture. This change had to happen with me. And this change had to happen now.
We are so inspired by Esmeralda’s independent, determined and resilient spirit. We look forward to seeing her continue her successes as she pursues her nursing credentials.
Congratulations to Lynsey and Aydarus, our High School Scientific Winners for 2018!
Lynsey, a graduate of Auburn Riverside High School, will be attending Gonzaga University. Lynsey’s moving story of bravery, courage and perseverance in the face of adversity left an indelible impression on us. We can’t wait to see the amazing things she will accomplish in her life.
Aydarus, is the second recipient of our 2018 scholarship. Aydarus is a graduate of Tyee High School and will be attending Highline College. In his application, Aydarus shared that “I never gave up. If I had given up, I would not be the same person I am today. It helped me realize that I am fortunate to have an education and continue to learn.” He plans to give back to his community in Somalia and help students access a better education.
in 2017, one applicant especially stood out for her courage, bravery and awe-inspiring determination: Noor Al Huda Al Ghezi and once we met her, we knew we wanted to award her with our first scholarship ever.
Noor graduated from Everett High School, right here in the state of Washington, and she will be attending the University of Washington, Seattle, in the Fall. While she has the same hopes and dreams of any college student, her story is both tragically and triumphantly different from most. As a Syrian refugee, Noor had endured and survived the war that has, in her own words, “destroyed homes and families, the war that kept people apart with its barbarian hands, the war that demolished the innocent dreams of the Syrian kids. This war had vanished my humble dreams, kidnapped my cousins, killed my friends, destroyed my home and left me alone in this miserable cold world. Yet, I won’t set down and wait for it to ruin my entire life, I will work harder than ever to hold the hammer of knowledge and destroy this outrageous monster.”
Amidst the violence of war, and during one particularly harrowing experience, Noor found comfort in the stories and words of her favorite poet, Kahlil Gibran:
“The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.” (The Prophet, 1923).
Her favorite poet also helped her remain determined – and hopeful – that regardless of how much suffering she had been through, a delightful tomorrow awaits to ease the most painful memories of the Syrian civil war. The war also helped shape and inform her in powerful ways. Noor shared that the “war had awakened the strongest version of me and crystalize it to face every pitfall of this life. And now while I’m on the soils of the land of freedoms, I will show the world that I’m able to make difference with my tremendous aspiration toward knowledge.”
After her family fled to Lebanon, Noor joined the Jussor Organization as a children’s entertainer and nurse assistant for Syrian refugees, an experience that inspired her passion for medicine and her goal to become a pediatric surgeon. The medical field is not new to Noor’s family, as her uncle is one of the most successful cardiologists in Syria and her brother entered medical school in Damascus.
We were so inspired by Noor’s story and personal statement, and delighted to meet her in person. We wish her the best of luck in her studies and look forward to seeing her achieve her goals.