Opportunity Scholar Stories

Meet Waleed, Opportunity Scholar

What field are you working in, and where are you working?

I am working in the biotech research & development field. I am currently employed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute in Seattle.

How did receiving your education help you reach your goals?

By being the first of my family to attend college, receiving an education has allowed me to break away from my family’s generational poverty and earn an income that can support them. With the education I received, I have opened the doors for me and my family to reach opportunities we have never imagined.

What did receiving the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship mean to you?

Receiving this scholarship meant a lot to me and I don’t know where I would be without it. I came into the University of Washington living in a low-income single parent home with two other siblings. Finances were always hard on us and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to pay off college without working a full-time job. Having the opportunity to receive a scholarship took the financial burden off and allowed me to only have to work a part-time job. Without the constant worry of my financial well-being, I was able to solely focus on my education and reach my potential. It truly was a blessing to be given such a generous scholarship from the Rubens Opportunity Scholarship and I will always be grateful for it.

WSOS has helped me in so many ways. Coming into college, I was passionate about going into pre-med and WSOS made my journey much more smooth. They helped with providing mentorship which was needed especially as I prepare to apply for medical school. I will always remember the advice and tips I received from my mentors. During my 1st year in college, I attended a WSOS event where current medical school students came to talk to us and answer our questions. Not only did I leave with such valuable information and lifelong connections, but I also left a shadowing opportunity through Kaiser Permanente that gave me much needed inspiration to go on the journey of becoming a doctor.

My experience with WSOS will always be meaningful and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it. In the near future, I hope to give back to WSOS as they were a pivotal part to my success in college.