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Zerina Mulaosmanovic Said

Zerina Mulaosmanovic Said was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan where she attended Wayne State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree. After studying abroad in Germany and some soul searching, Zerina decided to pursue a master’s in social work to work towards challenging the mental health stigmas that exist in society. She is currently enrolled in the MSW program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Zerina is a passionate advocate for mental health and hopes to bring awareness and education to newcomers about the effects of trauma and PTSD. With the support of the BAPA Scholarship, she expects to graduate in June 2022. She looks forward to using her MSW degree to empower others and give back even more to the communities she serves.

The BAPA Scholarship is truly a dream come true for a few reasons. From the financial side, it has alleviated the stress of figuring out financials for my fall semester. I can continue to be a full-time graduate student and focus on my education as opposed to working extra to afford the program. From the professional side, this opportunity will allow me to network with like-minded individuals, pursue research interests with the support of the organization, and gain access to resources that previously weren’t accessible to me. Lastly, it will provide me with the opportunity to give back to a community that means a lot to me. I am very proud of my Bosnian roots, and I believe that to preserve our culture and make a change back home, we need to come together and pay it forward to our homeland. I am sincerely appreciative of this scholarship and I am eager to be a part of a group whose mission and values align with mine.

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Merima Tricic

Merima Tricic is a PhD student at UCI in the department of Public Policy. She currently researches how organizations utilize stories to pursue policy changes with regards to opportunities for symbolic and material reparations for sexual violence survivors. Last year, she received a teaching award at UCI and hopes to use her teaching skills to reach out to Bosniak communities to encourage individuals to pursue graduate education. Additionally, Merima has worked on other gender-based issues, such as domestic violence during COVID in Bosnia, female genital mutilation in D.C., and child marriage legislation in California.

This scholarship will allow me to continue working for several organizations, such as TRIAL. I will continue to volunteer for Medica Zenica and other organizations that provide services for sexual violence survivors, such as legal aid or other life essentials. It will allow me to continue this summer as I do my research for my doctoral degree, which I hope to use to serve the Bosniak community. The BAPA scholarship is incredibly important to me as I hope to reach out to diaspora and other Bosniaks living abroad to talk about wartime issues that still remain unresolved today. By having the chance to speak to our community, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on social issues that require our attention and need further community involvement.

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