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Sanaa, 18 – FUNDED

Sanaa Shareef is only a freshman but she’s looking toward the future. Originally from Muqdisho, Somalia, the 18-year-old is currently at Portland State University, majoring in political science and minoring in Arabic and communications. She’s still not sure what she wants to be but has aspirations to make the world a better place. As a 1,000 Dreams Fund Fall 2017 Scholarship recipient, she has the funding to explore all options.

What is your professional dream?

Although I’m just a freshman and still looking at my options, I am hoping to go to law school and to become a lawyer. I want to use my degree to find something that strives to help others, give back to my community and the world in some way.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

The 1,000 Dreams Scholarship is funding my college tuition fees, textbooks and transportation.

How is this helping you get closer to your dream? 

Because I got this scholarship, I didn’t have to worry about taking out any extra money. I was able to stay loan free. In a way, it saved my life. Now, my only worry is to just focus on my classes and improving on myself to do better.

What advice do you have for other young women looking to go for their dreams?

The sky is not the limit. We are capable of achieving the highest degrees or whatever we set our minds to do. Do whatever makes you happy and always remember where you came from– never lose your culture or yourself as a unique individual.

Any setbacks? How did you get around them? 

People would always tell me I can’t do this or I can’t take that class. It made me afraid to try new things. I just learned to block them out and just do me. It made me more optimistic and more willing to make mistakes because that’s how I would learn.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

Other than going to law school, my future goals are just to be happy in what I choose to do in life. I want to be the change the world needs to see. I want to help others and do my best to make this world peaceful and full of smiling faces.