Gifts to the Dartmouth College Fund help make great things happen for our students. Here is one of their stories.
ZAINAB BAKRIN ’18 grew up in Brighton, New York, and is a neuroscience major planning a career in public health. Financial aid plays an important role in her life, making it possible for her to pursue numerous educational and cocurricular opportunities. The following is an excerpt of a speech she gave in October 2016 at Dartmouth’s annual Scholar Luncheon in gratitude for the scholarship support she has received from donors.
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the first child of two parents who were committed to opening every door for me. They chose to leave the only country they knew so that I could live in America and receive the best education the world has to offer. For the other kids who grew up with me in Nigeria, Dartmouth was not an opportunity that was possible. Today, I could not imagine being anywhere else.
As I reflect on my time at this school, I see all of the ways I have grown. My professors push me to challenge my beliefs every time I sit down for another class, and I have started to see myself and the world through an entirely different lens.
My life has also been shaped significantly by the parts of the Dartmouth experience that are resistant to time. I can still feel the heat of the bonfire on my face freshman year. I braved the coldest weather I have ever experienced to walk across the icy Green to see the ice sculptures and marvel at the creativity and skill of my friends. I stayed on campus my sophomore summer, spending my days kayaking down the river and my nights watching meteor showers with my best friends.
My love for Dartmouth has led me to become a member of the Hill Winds Society and a peer mentor so that I can share my experiences and help others benefit from what I have learned.
My parents and teachers instilled in me an appreciation for learning that has fueled my academic ambitions, but Dartmouth would not have been as easy a choice for me without financial aid. I know that one day I will have to leave this place that has become such a part of who I am, but I know that I will always be able to give back and make this possible for people like me in the future.
My gratitude is immeasurable.