Meet Aynaz Habibpour, an aspiring pre-med student and Iranian refugee. She, her parents and her younger brother fled their home in Tehran, Iran, after having been discovered to have converted from Islam to Christianity—a crime punishable by death. (In Iran, Christianity is only permitted by descent, meaning you have to be born to Christian parents.)
After spending three and a half years in Turkey completing the screening process to be resettled in America, they arrived in Richmond, Virginia in January 2017, just five days before the first travel ban was issued.
Aynaz graduated high school early at 16, and has been waiting for four years to begin her college career. Her dream is to become a neurosurgeon. She was recently accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University for the Fall 2017 semester. However, she cannot qualify for financial aid until she obtains her green card, and she can't even apply for her green card until she's been here for a year. On top of that, she does not yet qualify for in-state tuition.
We are fundraising in the hopes of sending this brilliant, talented and resilient young woman to VCU. Our first goal will be getting her first semester paid, which will need to be done by mid-August. If we’re able to do that, we will then attempt to fund her second semester.
Refugees face an uncertain future no matter where they are resettled. Aynaz and her family have been through a lot, more than most of us can even imagine, and they continue to face an uphill climb. Still, Aynaz gets up every day and walks to the library to read medical texts so she won't fall behind, watches brain surgery videos on YouTube (for fun!) and practices seven languages so she can better communicate with future patients. She never stops fighting for her dream of becoming a doctor and assisting families who, like her own, are confronted with daunting challenges, but who have a better chance of surviving them with a little help.
Please consider making a donation to help fund the future of a wonderful and deserving human being. I've never met a person more worth the investment.
Your donation will go to paying the $16,858 for the first semester's tuition and $1,994 for board.