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Paying it Forward

imagesnov10_page_3_image_0002It’s funny how many people we walk by not knowing just how remarkable they really are. At first glance, Sandra Awad is awesome. She is a radiant, beautiful, girl who is friendly and easy to talk to. Look a little deeper, and you will learn exactly how awesome she is.

Sandra spent most of her life growing up in Egypt and came to America five years ago. Her family left Egypt because of the persecution of Christians there. As a Christian herself, she was happy with the new opportunities she found in the US. Instead of simply enjoying her new freedoms, the first thing she decided to do was to try and help others who were still seeking freedom.

“The reason I came here was because of the persecution of Christians. I wasn’t able to do anything while I was there, so when I came here and had this opportunity [to join the military] I was like, ‘let me do something.’”

Sandra was raised by her parents and has a younger brother and sister who look up to her and want to follow her example. Sandra said: “They definitely want to be soldiers. My brother just joined the Air Force, so I am looking forward for him to serve as well.”

What kind of person overcomes struggles and afflictions, only to turn right around to help others through the flames? Sandra is this kind of person. She is a young and intelligent woman that decided to use her talents to bless the lives of others, heal the sick and rescue the oppressed. She served for a year and a half in the Air Force, as a Senior Airman, working as a medic and surgical technician. She loved the opportunity of being able to help in hospitals, work with doctors one on one and save lives.

From an early age Sandra learned, “Nothing comes easy, you always have to work for what you want and don’t give up. Things in life are hard, learning English and going into the military was hard and people even told me that couldn’t even get into university because I only came here five years ago. ‘No, I can,’ I said. My grades are high so I am going to apply for honors and I did it. I am going to do whatever it takes to get my full experience. I just don’t give up at all.”

Sandra went through many culture shocks going from Egypt to America and then to the military, but she said: “it made me grow as a person, it made me mature, and know what actually matters in the world.”

Sandra loves to talk and connect with people. She says her greatest hobby is socializing, and because she didn’t get many opportunities to do that in Egypt, it means a lot to her.

Sandra is a Health Studies, Pre-Occupational Therapy major with dreams of working as an occupational therapist, perhaps in the government sector.

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