From Syria; seeking a Undergraduate degree in Conflict, Governance, and International Development and is enrolled at Salve Regina University.
I was born and raised in Damascus, currently 18 years old, and a high school senior. Living in Syria taught me valuable lessons, I failed multiple times but learned to stand stronger and grow with each fall. I'm Mohamad Omar Kaziz, and I genuinely believe that it is possible to create a more sustainable, peaceful, and just world. I am driven by a curiosity that took me to great places and opened many opportunities. It made me discover my passion for human rights & political sciences, sustainability & the environment, entrepreneurship, and mental & reproductive health.
I began volunteering as a translator and blogger at multiple online initiatives like BlueDot, Researchers, and more. I eventually founded an environmental & sustainability movement supported by UNICEF & UNDP; Guardians of Nature, representing Syria in an international competition by UNICEF; Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge. I'm passionate about my work and I love to explore new domains. That explains why I would be an intern in a hospital one moment and engaged in the National School Debates Championship debating policies and social issues the next.
I continued to excel in school and engage in youth-led activities with international organizations. I managed to do this against a backdrop of a conflict that ravaged my country. I still landed many opportunities despite fierce competition. I'm thankful for the lessons I learned during the financial and political unrest; I became more mature, diligent, and understanding. Today, I reached another milestone. I got a fully paid tuition scholarship to pursue my education at Salve Regina University, Rhode Island. I still have another barrier to overcome, hopefully with your help, mainly my room and board expenses.
Why Would Donors Fund You?
I know that it takes diligence, perseverance, and vision to achieve a more sustainable and just world. By funding my education you can maximize my impact. I believe I demonstrated through my volunteering and other activities that I share the benefits of what I have been endowed with. Your investment will have a cascading effect, and I pledge it will reach many of my peers and compatriots.
How Do You Plan to Payback?
- I will be the bridge between change-makers back home and opportunities abroad through connecting both cultures and communities
- I will represent Syria in the best ways possible abroad and try to gain attention for Syrians
- I will commit to working both on-campus and off-campus on opportunities that will bring back knowledge and experience in various fields and will strengthen my profile for me to contribute even more post-graduation
During summer & spring breaks:
- I will be committing full time to either develop myself through internships or other opportunities
- I will break the walls that prohibited Syrian youth from accessing opportunities by creating a virtual online world inside those worlds where youth flourish wh fruitful opportunities
- I will be sharing my experiences, connections, and opportunities in an interactive way
- I will pursue grad-studies to develop myself even further
- I will officially establish a project that I will work on part-time after learning more about the field I can have the most impact at
- I will support other students follow the steps I took to pursue their studies abroad and develop themselves
Volunteer Work/Social Capital
- Guardians of Nature founder:
A non-profit that aims to raise environmental and SDG awareness hand in hand with finding environmental and sustainability solutions. Guardians of Nature is one of the projects in the Youth Leadership Program by UNDP MENA and 1 of 2 teams representing Syria in the Generation Unlimited International youth challenge by UNICEF International.
- Together We Seek Peaks co-founder and leadership team: (~48 hours - present)
Together We Seek Peaks is a non-profit project that aims to develop the academic abilities of youth in the MENA region. I helped in the selection process, new programs creation, curriculum creation, and both organizing and giving weekly classes for a group.
- Mentor with VIP.FUND :
Give a mentoring session weekly online for an hour aiming to help a fellow student at EdSeed in various goals previously set, contact mentee frequently for updates, and provide feedback.
- Founder at Syria Med Initiative :
Syria Med Initiative was born as a result of the needed awareness I saw during my internship. I organized the team, managed the work process, provided feedback and developed both teams and ideas, presented new strategies to increase social impact.
Volunteered in many roles in multimedia teams, mainly: blog writing, voice-over, translation, and archiving files.
- Karam House (paid):
Karam House guides Syrian refugees on a path to leadership by creating safe spaces to connect, learn, and develop a support ecosystem for them—and their families—to thrive. I subtitled a 30 minute part of a documentary with inputting time frames.
I volunteered with both teams in fieldwork tasks. At Saed, I helped in the cleaning of the historic Azm palace and for WLAT I helped in logistics concerning an educational program helping students affected by war.
What Have You Done to Improve Yourself? Awards and Achievements
I was recently accepted into the leadership scholars program at my potential university; Salve Regina. In addition, I was recently awarded the Syrian scholarship along with another winner from 6 Syrian applicants, it covers full tuition and fees for 4 years of study.
- MIT Scitech Virtual Ideathon team participant: (8 hours)
An online half-day event aimed to develop high-impact ideas to improve educational outcomes in the MENA region, I pitched our team's idea, my team was with VIP.Fund.
- National School Debates Championship team participant & World School Debates Championship selection program participant: (~120 hours)
National School Debates Championship <NSDC> is part of the Syrian Olympiad and is a nationwide championship where students debate in their school then governorate then nationwide in the NSDC boot camp for a total of nearly a month and 30 hours of training per week in estimation. From there nominees are selected for another separate program, the WSDC Selection program, to choose participants for team Syria in the World School Debates Championship.
- Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge: (~280 hours)
A global youth challenge by UNICEF that aims to provide the current generation with the needed tools to find solutions to their generation problems, my team is a shortlisted finalist as 1 of 2 to represent Syria internationally.
I have been chosen at both programs to be provided with mentorship and resources to aid me through the application process to higher education institutes abroad, SYE has also provided financial assistance for the application process amongst other services.
- Nursing Internship at Al-Kendi hospital: (167 hours)
For three weeks I worked in the endoscopy room, ICU, patient rooms, newborns section, and surgery rooms and as the youngest, only male nursing intern.
- Youth Leadership Program by UNDP MENA: (~50 hours - present)
A program that aims to build the region's most dynamic network working at the intersection of youth, innovation, and sustainable development. YLP has frequent meetings, webinars, workshops, and boot camps.
- Sanad Team for Development Steps 2 program participant: (30 hours)
An event for teens to learn more about employment, entrepreneurship, and debate among other things on the course of 5 days, 30 hours in total, I led a case study on entrepreneurship on the final day.
- Paper Airplanes x UC Berkley: (8 hours)
Paper Airplanes organized participants affected by conflict into groups for virtual language and skills instruction. For a month, I met a couple of hours a week with a fellow participant from Palestine and another from the US where we discussed daily happenings amongst other things.
- Aflateen youth club by Mobaderoon Syria x Aflatoun international: (~145 hours)
Aflateen is a social and financial awareness club. It's a journey where we discuss and learn about many global social issues and grow into more mature and independent individuals according to a specific curriculum ending with the creation of an initiative.
- Guitar, cooking, and running:
I studied Solefge then took lessons in Guitar at a governmental institute, I'm also a cook at my scout's troop, and I love running daily when time allows.
- Greenlab by Entrepioneers 2030 x ActGreen Syria: (12 hours)
An environmental workshop that lasted three days and brought youth leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, and experts under one dome to both raise environmental & SDG awareness and find solutions for climate change.
- National Business Center medical courses: (17 hours)
I took courses in surgical sewing, lab analysis, and nursing training both beginner and advanced.
- Courses in Spanish:
I took multiple courses with Centro Hispanco de Damasco to enhance my proficiency in the Spanish language.