WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Refugee wins scholarship


Kathy Ryan
8 April 2008

Six and a half years ago, Samara Al Badri, 18, arrived with her family as refugees from the Iraqi war zone. Last year she won a Foundation scholarship.

altSpeaking very little English, Samara launched into school life with enthusiasm, dedication and solid hard work. At the end of 2007, Samara graduated from St Catherine’s College. At the college’s prize-giving and graduation ceremony in December, Samara was awarded the Wellington Archdiocesan Catholic Foundation’s Halina Fladrzynska-Morrow Scholarship, in recognition of her fortitude in overcoming the difficulties that she had faced in her young life.

Despite facing all the difficulties of learning in a new language with an entirely new alphabet, Samara maintained a full study programme and achieved exceptional academic results.

Samara made excellent progress in developing her fluency in English, to the point where she is now totally fluent and has begun university study. In addition to learning English, Samara also studied French during her five college years, and in 2005 Samara was the recipient of a New Zealand Language Teachers’ Association Certificate of Excellence in French for her results in NCEA Level One French.

With the aid of the Halina Fladrzynska-Morrow Scholarship, Samara has begun her tertiary studies at Victoria University in chemistry, biology and statistics, toward a degree in biomedical science.