Chestermere student, Aryan Zawari had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., where she received a medal which represented the $10,000 Horatio Alger National Entrepreneurial Scholarship that will help her pursue a career in neuroscience.
“It was surreal. It just felt unreal, even to this day,” Zawari said.
Zawari got to visit the Supreme Court of the United States, met Stephen Harper, met the president of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada Prem Watsa, and the former ambassador to Finland Bonnie-McElveen-Hunter.
“If I were told a month before if I thought I would get to do all that, I would’ve thought it was a joke,” she said.
Throughout the trip, members of the Horatio Alger Association talked to Zawari and other scholarship winners about what it means to be successful in the face of adversity.
“They taught us about their philosophy in achieving success, and what that means,” Zawari said.
A message that Zawari took away from the association members was that true success impacts the lives of others positively.
“The main point that came to me throughout the trip was whatever I thought of being as the best; there was always more. It broadened my horizons being able to see the possibilities and the outcomes I can create,” she said.
Zawari was able to meet with many people during the trip whom she was inspired by, including Justice Clarence Thomas who taught her about the importance of working hard to get to a higher place, and ultimately working to give back to the community.
Along with meeting Thomas, Zawari resonated with the President of the High Point University Nido R. Qubein.
“The success that he has made for himself and how passionate he is about helping other people was very inspirational for me,” she said.
“This trip gave me so much motivation to continue not only to be the best student I can be but also to be the best member of my community that I can be,” she added.
Currently, Zawari is focusing on finishing high school while working on an environmental movement at her school.
“We switched over all the plastic cutlery to biodegradable. I work on it and try to make progress on it whenever I get the chance,” she said.
Without support from Zawari’s family, and the Horatio Alger Association, receiving the $10,000 Horatio Alger National Entrepreneurial Scholarship wouldn’t have been possible.
“Thank you to my family for supporting me through all of this and sacrificing so much to get me to achieve the success that I have,” she said.