Areena says she chose to study at AUIS because of its reputation for being a challenging environment that pushes students to be their best. “AUIS was the right place for me,” she said. “I knew I had potential and that this university would give me all the opportunities and tools I need to turn that potential into success.”
Her passion for environmentalism in the Kurdistan Region inspired her academic path towards civil engineering and her dedication to excellence made her the perfect candidate for the Blake and Bailey Family Achievement Award.
“Receiving this scholarship was a huge motivator for me to work even harder,” Areena said. “It made me more enthusiastic and hopeful about my future plans and showed me that my hard work and efforts are being recognized.”
The Blake and Bailey Endowed Scholarship allowed Areena to achieve a long-time dream of a study abroad semester in Europe, but soon after arriving there, the whole world seemingly came to a stop.
“2020 has surprisingly been one of the most eventful years of my life,” Areena said. “During the beginning of the lockdown I got stuck in [Europe] and had to spend the scariest and most difficult months away from my home and my family.”
Areena joined millions of students around the globe in adjusting to learning online, but as with previous obstacles, she saw it as a new challenge to conquer.
“Studying during COVID was definitely challenging and required a lot more effort from my end,” she said. “But I managed to find techniques and methods that worked for me.”
Going forward, Areena plans to continue her studies after graduation, focusing on environmental engineering and conservation efforts in the region.