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Support opens doors to the world

October 3, 2011

Support opens doors to the world
Shaho Alishahi, third-year Geography student and recipient of The Parent's Fund Ontario Student Bursary.

Shaho Alishahi dreams of a career where he can travel the world.

"I love learning about different countries, their landscapes, culture and languages and I can’t wait to explore what is out there,” says the third-year Western Social Science student who grew up in London, Ontario, with his two brothers and parents who emigrated from Kurdistan before he was born.

Shaho has experienced different parts of the world through his studies in Geography and Earth and Planetary Science, and through the diverse students he has met at Western. He says it’s donor support and awards, like the $1,000 bursary he received through The Parents’ Fund, that have made it possible for him to study at Western.

Throughout the years, The Parents’ Fund has supported student scholarships, needs-based bursaries, computer equipment, labs and library enhancements. In the 2010/11 academic year, The Parents’ Fund awarded 36 students with scholarships and financial needs-based bursaries.

“The Parents’ Fund Bursary means a lot to me,” says Shaho, who is the first in his family to attend university. “It has given me the financial assistance I needed to pay for tuition and textbooks. If it weren’t for student awards, I would not have been able to afford university.”

Shaho has always been academically inclined, but knew it would be a struggle to afford a university education. Since he was 16 years old, he has been working to save enough money for school. He continues to work during the academic year and held two jobs this past summer.

“It’s important to have support for student awards because I know so many students that would not be able to attend university if it wasn’t for these types of scholarships and bursaries. They really do make a huge difference in people’s lives.”

The avid soccer player says he would love to play for Western’s varsity soccer team, but due to his work schedule and a recent injury, he has kept his focus on academics. He says his experience at Western has been amazing and he is excited about the possibilities for his career upon graduation in 2013.

“Western has opened so many doors for me, connecting me with people from different parts of the world, while giving me a world-class education,” he says. “I’ll be able to work in environmental consulting or any type of governmentjob in my field. Whatever I end up doing, I will make sure I enjoy it and continue my curiosity to explore the world."

This article appeared in the 2011 edition of Western's Parent Connection
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