Refugee Teen Pursues Dream of Becoming Doctor


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My name is Mohammad Ferdaws Homayoon and I am an 18 year old refugee from Afghanistan. My family and I resettled in the United States two years ago. With PRERNA’s support, we slowly adapted to a new country – language, school, friends, and other aspects to rebuild a new life here. In 2016, I met one of PRERNA’s youth volunteers who visited my family and showed me some basic programming skills. See blog article “Inspired by Refugee Youth.”

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When my father received a better employment opportunity in Irvine, California, PRERNA helped us make the move and resettle in the new city. It has always been great working with different members of PRERNA even after we moved, especially to help me achieve my education goals. I started a new high school in Irvine and am now a junior student. This coming Fall, I will be a senior and will be preparing my applications for college. I am interested in pursuing a medical career and hope to be admitted into one of the University of California (UC) campuses. As the eldest son, I would be the first in my family to go to college in America.

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Recently, PRERNA connected me with a UC Irvine student named Andrew Laird. I must thank everyone at PRERNA and AJ Tutoring for coordinating a tour of UC Irvine and making it possible for me to visit the campus. The visit went very well and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Andrew, not only did he show me the whole campus (including the dorms, the Anteater Recreational Center, cafeteria, library and much more), but he also shared his experience of going to college from high school. We had a great time together and I learned a lot about the UC system as a whole.

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Here is a fun fact that I learned in my visit. Some of the buildings on the UCI campus are named after Lord of the Rings. For instance, the dorm we visited was called Shadowfax and was located in the Middle Earth. I found that very interesting. Here are some pictures from my visit. Thanks again for everything.

(NOTE: The campus tour to UC Irvine was made possible through a PRERNA partnership with AJ Tutoring. We thank Chelsea Green of AJ Tutoring and her brother Andrew Laird for volunteering to give Mohammad a tour and showing him the opportunities ahead of him as a college student.)

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