What is your background?: I grew up in Syria, the oldest of four children. My family plays a big role in my life. They are the reason that I am here in the United States.
What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: I was attending the university back home when the crisis began, so my family encouraged me to leave and study abroad. I looked for affordable colleges with dental tech programs and Kirkwood was suitable for me.
Describe your program of study and what interests you about the program?: My entry into the dental field began here in the United States. My uncle told me about the dental technology field after I graduated from high school. I visited some labs in my city, did some job shadows and practiced using some of the tools. After a lot of conversations about a future in this career, I began to get interested. And, here I am!
Are you involved in anything else on campus?: Actually, I don’t have time. I’m working as a full-time student at Kirkwood.
Are you involved with anything off campus?: Yes, I volunteer with the Youth Committee at the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids.
What do you do for fun?: I play soccer and I enjoy cooking. Are you planning to stay in this area? Why? Yes. Iowa is my second home after Syria. I have met a lot of wonderful people and made a lot of friends here. I have even met family from Syria that has made their home in Iowa for 25 years. They make me feel like Iowa could be my home, too.
Where do you see yourself in five years?: A graduate from the Dental Tech program here at Kirkwood. Get specialized training. Find a job in Iowa. Work towards obtaining my bachelor’s degree. Gain experience on how to run a dental tech lab, as my ultimate goal is to open and operate my own someday.