As a first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student at Kean University with a B.A. in biology and a minor in public health, my career goals include serving the disabled and injured individuals in our communities as a clinician, advocating through the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to fight the opioid epidemic by encouraging physical therapy as a form of pain management and encouraging holistic living via the mind-body connection, and pursuing an academic career as a professor. My personal goals include continuing my humanitarian work with food-insecure populations, starting an annual physical therapy mission trip to BiH to reach disabled individuals who have limited access to therapeutic services, and publishing a book on my family’s experiences during the war and life as U.S. immigrants. The BAPA scholarship will alleviate the financial burdens associated with graduate school education, allowing me to focus on my studies, patients, and personal goals, as well as getting more involved with our Bosnian-American community.
My name is Elma Sarajlija, and I am a rising junior at Harvard University studying
Government and Economics. In addition, I am pursuing a language citation in
Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS). On campus, I proudly serve as the president of the Harvard South Slavic Society, and as such, I continuously look for ways to bring together students with cultural heritage from the Balkans.
I am honored to be a BAPA scholarship recipient and am excited to be part of an
organization that works to support and uplift Bosnian-American professionals. This award will allow me to connect with Bosnian-American professionals across the United States and build a bridge between future Bosnian-American Ivy Leaguers and BAPA. I am looking forward to the forum in Chicago and cannot wait to present my project to BAPA members!
I would personally like to thank you for your generous $1,000 scholarship. I am so appreciative of this donation and grateful to have been chosen as one of the three recipients.
I graduated as a valedictorian from high school and obtained my bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Northern Iowa. I am now pursuing my second bachelor's in nursing from Allen College, with direct admission into their graduate program. My goal is to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
Not only will the next few years test my mental strength and perseverance, but they come with financial responsibilities. This scholarship will assist me in relieving some of those as I follow my dreams. I hope I am able to give back in the same way one day.
My name is Meliha Grbic. I will be studying engineering and Arabic at the University of Virginia (UVa). The BAPA scholarship will help support my academic efforts at UVa, and has inspired me to look for ways to include Bosnian culture in my future leadership endeavors. I am really concerned with energy sustainability on a global scale, and one of my future goals is to create a cross-cultural research or sustainability project between the U.S. and Bosnia and Herzegovina. For me, the BAPA scholarship is an opportunity to reconnect to my cultural heritage. I am so excited to join a community of Bosnian-American professionals working to support each other and Bosnian representation in their various fields.
The BAPA scholarship will help me pay for a portion of my tuition fees, allowing me to focus on obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Boise State University. Not only does this scholarship bring me one step closer to reaching my goal of attending medical school to become a trauma surgeon, but I also get the opportunity to create a project that will benefit my community and others. To me, this scholarship is an example of the strength and influence the Bosnian community and culture have in supporting our youths professional and personal goals in order to make the world a better place. Thank you!
I am so excited to attend the forum in October and even more excited to get started on a project that will help make a difference in people’s lives.
Ena is a first-generation college student at the University of Florida studying political science with a focus on International Relations and Eastern European Studies. Throughout her studies, Ena has focused her research on the Balkans to understand the social, political, and economic pressures of the region. After graduate school, she plans to become involved in think tanks, NGO’s, and eventually the Department of State in their Bureau of European Affairs to mitigate current issues and improve BiH-US relations.
One of my main areas to focus on are education reform, economic policies (such as bringing companies to BiH for economic improvements), study abroad programs from BiH to the US, and creating more resources for Bosnian-Americans in local and state offices.
Bajram is an incoming Freshman at Carnegie Mellon University who hopes to study epidemiology. He completed the Eagle Scout program and helped found a cemetery for Muslim-Americans from the Balkan region in his community in New York that addressed the concerns they had in burying their loved ones. Bajram was inspired to study epidemiology by his father, who developed COPD after volunteering at the site of the 9/11 terror attacks as a federal agent assisting with evidence collection.
The unwavering passion for aiding his fellow man that my father displayed during this dark time stands as a powerful source of inspiration for me. These actions take a certain sort of man, a man who values the well-being of others above his own. I aspire to be that man.
Azra is a graduate student at the University of South Dakota studying for her PhD in clinical psychology. As an active member of her community, Azra has provided mental health services to immigrants of all backgrounds including Bosnian-Americans. She also teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at a local refugee community center.
With my education, training, and this scholarship opportunity, I believe I can achieve my goals of making a positive contribution as a clinical psychologist in a wide range of clinical, research, and academic settings within the culturally diverse world.
Medina is studying journalism at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Medina’s love for writing is fueled by her desire to write a complete fiction and nonfiction collection on Bosnian history and the Bosnian genocide. It is this determination and passion that motivated Medina to write a novella project in high school focusing on stories of Bosnian immigrants and refugees. One of Medina’s professional goals is to become a business owner. She sees herself starting a magazine that conveys compelling stories about today’s issues, while highlighting the beauty of today’s world. Her personal goals can be summed up in three words: Health, happiness and success.
I want to be successful because I want to bring light to Bosnia and Hercegovina, raising awareness to the atrocities and emphasizing that people cannot lose the culture and life they were born with, even through tough times. I want to empower my country.
Merima is a political science, world culture, and religious studies senior at the University of California, Los Angeles. Merima’s involvement in her community includes organizing events to increase awareness of issues that affect women, Muslims, and the genocide in her hometown of Srebrenica. She has written for numerous newspapers, interned for the UN Women Organization petitioning for recognition on the issue of genocide in Darfur, and has presented at over ten conferences. Her professional goal is to become a lawyer, prosecuting war criminals at The Hague International Court of Justice. Watching her family struggle over the years, Merima quickly realized that an education is vital for her and her family’s happiness and success.
Education has become my future and my present, aided by my past, and is something that so far, I have excelled in.