May 16, 2015 will always be a memorable day for the Joint IIT-Jusoor Initiative. It was the day where 15 Syrian youth had their graduation ceremony after a very long, challenging and interesting journey here in the United States. The program that was launched three years ago when Illinois Institute of Technology invited university students from Syria the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degrees and the chance to prove themselves, and other that they were able to fulfill their dreams. And so they did, these students earned their degrees with a very high rankings, and competed and secured job offers to work at the very best firms around the States in their different majors.
I was lucky enough to be part of this initiative, and gain new friends that know I can call my best friends – brothers, and sisters. Unfortunately I was unable to make it to the ceremony in person but I was so proud of this achievement; it was a monumental occasion for us all – a win for each member of the group, and our families.
We were given the chance to fulfill our dream; we were supported with great resources and mentoring programs, and now it is time to give back, and pass the chance on to more Syrians who are still waiting for the right chance.
To further the cause of future cohorts of Syrian students, we have established the Jusoor Alumni Association. In this association we are trying to create the platform that will gather Syrians students and alumni in the United States, a platform where alumni will help students in their journey, pass their experience and share their connection.
As one of our first initiatives, we announced our first scholarship program for one student to complete her/his degree in the US. By passing this chance to more students we will assure that the program will last, and we will make sure that more university level students will be prepared when the time comes and go back and help in the rebuilding process in Syria after a long and hard conflict.