Health Care | Opportunities | Personal Relationships | Education
War stripped Bosnia (BiH) of a skilled educated workforce.
Jericho strives to rebuild the lost intellectual capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina by providing college scholarships. The scholarship program affords both the education and the training needed for young adults to become integral parts in BiH's rebuilding process. Without Jericho Foundation scholarships, college is unattainable financially. A substantial number of upcoming youth are in dire need of support which requires us to broaden our donor base.
The First Jericho Scholarship Recipient
In 1995, 9-year old Melisa was living in a refugee camp and made the simple request to a visiting American, Please do not forget me. As our very first graduate, she completed her degree in pharmacology from the University of Sarajevo. She is employed by Merck Drug Co. in BiH and is pursuing her masters degree. A full-time pharmaceutical representative, Melisa reinvests in the Jericho initiatives by mentoring upcoming and current students.
I am so glad that Jericho is expanding and that we have more scholarship receivers. I know that it means a greater commitment for all of us, more work to do. But I believe these students will inspire you not to give up on them. I believe that we can make it, and that we will. We have to! All of these kids have their own story. These stories are different, but all have sadness in common. But they can also have a happy ending in common, thanks to Jericho. These kids have greater chance for a better future. A chance to go to school, a job, and take care of themselves. I'm excited that Jericho awarded more scholarships. That was a brave move, and I think that is the way we need to act in the future - brave; and of course, have faith!
I want to thank a great Jericho team in USA. You have made a difference and done a great job!
College Scholarship Recipients
New Students for 2013-2014:
Amira was the best student in her high school with a dream of being part of the new generation of students who are rebuilding her country. “I have my goal, although it is said in BiH that youth has no future, I want to I believe in the future. I want to influence the situation in which I live and the only way it can succeed is through education.” Amira is passionate about a future career in pharmacy which will give her the ability to care for her family, change her country and serve others in need.
As a child of parents who are both hearing impaired, Ana and her family know what it takes to overcome obstacles. Life's challenges have produced a creative young woman with a vision of how she can change her country. “Bosnia and Herzegovina is a land filled with untapped potential and great opportunities." With her education, Ana hopes to help rebuild her nation by designing buildings, bridges and parks “with warmth which would give people a positive look on life, make them happier about living in a country filled with wondrous marvels of both natural and manmade craftsmanship.”
Despite being the class president and active volunteer in high school, Arza was not going to be able to pursue her education. “My love story with computers began 10 years ago, when my cousin got his first computer and I started to dream to be a programmer.” Her scholarship is the first step towards realizing her dream of becoming that programmer and the first college graduate in her family. Arza hopes to one day start a company which helps to educate people about the internet and find ways to help the fight against the illiteracy that plagues her country.
Growing up in the aftermath of the war, Ena has seen the effects that post traumatic stress has had on the Bosnian people. “Today, grown people who have their own family and children in war time were just kids. They watched their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters in pain and being killed and they couldn't do anything to help them.” The wounds of the past have not been dealt with and at the Faculty of Psychology, Ena will learn how to help parents and children heal from those wounds of yesterday and to foster hope for tomorrow.
As a survivor of childhood cancer, Mordiana is no stranger to overcoming the struggle. Five years cancer free and college bound, she is excited to be pursuing her degree and vision for changing how her country is perceived. “I want to meet new people who will bring me new perspective, new ideas, people who can help me to broaden my mind. With the knowledge I get at the college, I would like to bring something new in the field of tourism and environmental protection. With development of tourism many workplaces will be created and it will give an employment to many Bosnian citizens. Tourism can help us to change the picture of Bosnia in the World.”
Ever since he was a child, Spasoje has wanted to be a dentist. However, the aftermath of the war left this valedictorian of his high school without the means to pursue his dream. “Ten years from now I see myself in a private dental practice helping people and giving them a 'new smile' on their faces. My clients are people of all nationalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I will also be volunteering by offering free services to those who are unable to afford it.”
Tarik dreams of using his degree to rebuild his country and stimulate its economy. The opportunity to pursue his education is the first step in accomplishing his dream. “I have hope. Just because of that, I love what I'm going to study. And this hope is also a reason that I can contribute to my country and its economic status and culture. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be happier if they see renewed buildings, maybe even their own houses that were demolished in the war.”
As a child of a single parent home, Adisa is determined to help raise her younger brother while she pursues her dream of becoming an English teacher. She wants to use her degree to help foster a generation of children who know how to find “agreement on decent and kind way, without force or spilling blood”. She is excited to attend the University of Zenica and shares her hope, “I want to improve myself, my mind and achieve a high level of knowledge. I want to use all chances which are before me. Jericho is one of them. Maybe my life will change; maybe my wishes will come true. Before I thought that it is impossible, but I realize now there is hope.”
Born just days after the war began; Arnela is in the BiH generation of children raised amidst the devastating aftermath of war. A brilliant student, Arnela has big dreams of using her degree to pursue treatments for disease like the cancer her mother is currently battling. Arnela’s family didn’t have the financial ability to make their daughter’s dream a reality, but as a Jericho Foundation Scholarship recipient, she has a hopeful future.
Azra‘s father sustained lifelong crippling injuries while imprisoned at a war camp. Her father’s inability to work left the family to rely on Azra’s mother’s income as a cleaning lady to support their family of six. Realizing that she would not have the financial capability to pay tuition, she began pursuing college scholarship opportunities while still in high school. As a Jericho Foundation Scholarship recipient, Azra is now pursuing her dream of earning a degree in Public Relations which she hopes will help her develop her voice for those who have experienced suffering and loss.
The BiH post-war economic depression left Elma’s father without work and without the ability to provide for his family. For years, the family of five lived amidst the bombed out wreckage of their home and struggled to survive. Amidst that pain Elma never lost sight of her dream, her smile or her compassion for others who have less. Today she is pursuing a nursing degree in hopes of one day being able to care for people whose health is failing them. Elma shares “Health is the profession that makes me feel happy. I feel useful and I enjoy helping people in need of assistance.”
Elvedin was abandoned during the war and lived on the streets until he was taken in by a orphanage. Tenacious, hardworking and bright, this young man was able to defy the odds when he finished high school and entered college. A Jericho scholarship recipient, member of the Bosnian workforce and volunteer; Elvedin is an incredible example of what an education and the power of love can do in a person’s life.
Like the majority of Bosnians, Emina’s parents have struggled to find employment since the war ended in 1995. As Emina prepared for college, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and medical bills stood in the way of her dream of a college education. Thanks to her Jericho Foundation Scholarship, Emina is beginning to see that dream come to fruition. Today Emina is pursuing her education with a vision of using her degree to help influence the Bosnian workforce in “creating a better present and future for the next generation.”
The effect of post-traumatic stress took its toll on Fatima’s family, but didn’t steal this young woman's vision for changing not only her own life but the future of her country. She plans to use her love of the arts and her education to help unite her people. Fatima shares “Because of war, our country is destroyed and has two entities. This political system does not work good together for the people. We are one country that looks like two countries and we need opportunities and organizations to bring youths together to learn how to work together as one team. My dream is to be part of organization that produces magazine and has trainings for youth to educate them on leadership, teamwork and public relations.”
Born during the war, Jasmina grew up hearing stories of how her family's business and home had been destroyed. Those stories have become the driving force behind Jasmina's goal of using her degree in Industrial Design to help rebuild what the war has stolen from her own family and so many others like hers. Jasmina shares” I think people also underestimate design above all. Most of them think it is just fun, but believe me design is first of all science. It is helping my people. So what I'm trying to say is that I'm happy to finally be useful for something and to have found my true call to help people through design.”
An abandoned child, Muhamed grew up in the orphanage. Rather than succumb to a life of bitterness, Muhamed became determined to succeed and one day be in a position to help others in need. This ambitious young man is studying to be a lawyer. His goal: “representing poor people, protecting children, and fighting for the rights of young mothers and babies.”
Velida was only five years old when her single mother died of lung cancer after which Velida was placed in the orphanage. Velida came to Kalamazoo in 2007 as a Jericho exchange student. That was the beginning of a new chapter of hope in her life. Even though she has already experienced a lifetime of struggles, Velida continues to persevere. Today Velida is pursuing a degree in Social Work and hopes to be able to one day work with children with special needs.
When Adnan and his family were reunited with his father, a wartime prison camp survivor, they returned home to a land of little opportunity. This 2013 Graduate of the University of Mostar shares “Things hadn’t changed until the day Jericho decided to help my family and my education. Now I can have a life as most young men. A university diploma is the only way for me to get out of this hard life.” Adnan is currently interviewing for prospective positions in his field and excited about the next step in his life.
Although Aida graduated at the top of her high school class, college seemed out of her financial reach. The Jericho Foundation was able to step in and offer her the scholarship she needed to make her dream of becoming a doctor a reality. This 2013 Graduate of the University of Mostar’s Medical School shares “I could never do all this without the donors’ help. It is great to have such a beautiful people that help me. Without them my dreams wouldn’t come true. They made me successful girl, whom my mother and brother are so proud of.” Aida is a practicing doctor at an urgent care center in Mostar.
Alisa spent her early childhood years within the walls of a refugee camp where simply having enough money to ride the bus to school was difficult. She was certain her dream of becoming a college graduate would never be realized. Today Alisa is a 2013 Graduate of the University of Sarajevo’s Electrical Engineering School--a dream that became a reality due to a Jericho Foundation Scholarship. Alisa is currently in final interviews with an international telecommunications company located in Sarajevo.
Growing up amidst the consuming fear of snipers shooting at his family as they went about the daily tasks of gathering food and water, Emran had little reason to hope and dream of a better future. Yet today, thanks to a Jericho Foundation Scholarship, Emran is a 2013 Graduate of the University of Sarajevo’s Electrical Engineering Program. Emran shares “Thanks to the donors that support the Jericho Foundation. You‘re not just sending us money, you‘re sending us moral support to keep hoping, to keep fighting, and to see light at the end of a dark road that blinds our future. Thank you.” Emran is employed as a software engineer with a Bosnian company in Sarajevo.
A teacher once wrote, “Maida is a very hard-working person, who goes for her dreams and goals, even when others may think she cannot accomplish them. I remember when she said that she was going to apply at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, how many doubts people showed, but she never gave up, never lost her faith or hope, never took the smile off her face.” As a result of her Jericho Foundation Scholarship, Maida is now a proud 2013 Graduate of the University of Sarajevo’s Electrical Engineering School and employed as a software engineer in Sarajevo.
In 1995, 9-year old Melisa was living in a refugee camp and made the simple request to a visiting American, “Please do not forget me.” As our very first Jericho Foundation Scholarship recipient, she completed her degree in pharmacology from the University of Sarajevo in 2009. Now a full-time pharmaceutical representative, Melisa is not only making a difference in the Bosnian workforce but also by reinvesting in the Jericho Foundation initiatives.