Iraqi CBC student highlights importance of scholarship foundation
PASCO, Wash. — In 2015, Ehab Al Hasnawi uprooted his, and his family’s lives to move to the United States, in pursuit of a better career and future.
“I worked with the US government in Iraq as translator and interpreter and after that I work with many organizations that are US based and during that time there were a program especially for people who works with the US govt and willing to immigrate to the United States officially,” he explained.
Al Hasnawi said it was hardest on his children, who didn’t know any English.
“The beginning as you may know, it was kind of struggling — because they know nothing, they barely new the ABC’s,” he said.
With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iraq, Ehab set out to start a career in America to achieve financial stability, but he ran into a roadblock.
“This bachelor degree did not help me out here so I started to seriously look for a degree,” he said.
Eventually, Ehab came across CBC’s Nuclear Technician Program, but ran into yet another problem: he didn’t have enough money to cover tuition.
“Foreign students have additional challenges because they can’t access as much financial aid so we really do try and learn about them, learn about their story and connect them with aid that will work for them,” Erin Fishburn, the Executive Director of the CBC Foundation said.
The Foundation was started in 1984 and has donated millions of dollars to students via scholarships and CBC education programs.
“Thanks to the CBC Foundation who helped me a lot to award me the scholarship and you cannot imagine how happy I was. This kind of a dream came true to me – they treat CBC students with humanity,” Ehab said.
Now, Ehab is just months away from graduation and hopes to work on the Hanford Site.
Fishburn said it’s stories like his that make her job the best on campus.
“We are so lucky to be a part of those and help them on their journey,” she said.
Recent numbers show 80 percent of CBC grads start careers locally, which means donations give back to the community directly.
On October 27, the CBC Foundation is hosting the Power of Connection Fundraiser at the HAPO Center from 6 to 9 PM. Tickets can be purchased online, there will be dinner as well as a silent and live auction. At the event, attendees will be able to make a small donation to the foundation or, fund an entire scholarship.
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