Iranian teenager wins $40,000 Pacific Rim Foundation scholarship

Pani Ayoubizadeh received a whopping $40,000 gift for her 18th birthday on July 19.

In a special presentation to Ucluelet Council, the Ucluelet High School (USS) grade 12 graduate was named the recipient of the annual Pacific Rim Foundation Dick Close Scholarship. Ayoubizadeh has been accepted into the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia and will use the $40,000 scholarship to help her achieve her goal of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.

“This is the best birthday I could have ever asked for,” Ayoubizadeh said. “I want to thank everyone on the West Coast who has always supported me since the first day I arrived here. I am very lucky to have such a supportive community with so many kind people.

Ayoubizadeh is from Tehran, Iran. She moved to Canada in 2018, then to Ucluelet in 2019 when her mother was offered a job at Black Rock Resort. She is the first-ever immigrant to win the West Coast’s highest academic honor since its inception 14 years ago.

“I really hope that all other immigrant students like me step out of their comfort zone and get involved in their community, just like me. I truly believe that home is not where you are born, but a place where you step out of your comfort zone and pursue your passions,” Ayoubizadeh said during the July 19 council presentation.

Pacific Rim Foundation President Gary Marks presented the Dick Close Scholarship to the Mayor and Council.

“We congratulate all of this year’s nominees and recognize that each of them has demonstrated a desire to live meaningful lives and make a difference in the world,” Marks said, noting that the selection committee went through a very difficult time and felt that all of the applicants were worthy of a scholarship. “All Tofinons and Uclueans can be proud of these young citizens.

The Pacific Rim Foundation Dick Close Scholarship celebrates the idea of ​​service to others and recognizes the student who has excelled in community volunteerism and determination to make a difference in the world.

“His magnanimous gesture not only encourages young people in our communities to volunteer and be positively engaged, but it also motivates ordinary people to do good things,” Marks said.

“To paraphrase Ralph Abernathy, ‘We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future,'” he said before announcing that Ayoubizadeh was the recipient of the Dick Scholarship. Close 2022.

“Pani’s involvement in a wide range of activities is a clear demonstration of her innate curiosity,” Marks said.

He went on to say that Ayoubizadeh was a Member of BC Youth Parliament, Treasurer of the Surfrider Youth Club, a member of Junior Achievers and a member of the USS Cross Country Team. An undergraduate student, she speaks four languages ​​(Persian, English, Arabic and French) and dreams of becoming the next provincial health administrator or minister of health.

“His goal of becoming a thoracic cardiac surgeon, and I think we all agree, is well within reach. We are here today to recognize Pani’s dreams and ambitions and offer him our support and encouragement. Pani is humble and therefore deserves all our praise for his achievements,” he said.

Ayoubizadeh thanked her parents for bringing her to Canada. She expressed her gratitude to the teachers at ASU, especially Mrs. Thompson, and gave special thanks to the Dick Close scholarship.

“I hope I can pay for all this support with my hard work. Thank you all very much,” said the ASU graduate. Ayoubizadeh was also voted Ucluelet Youth of the Year at the closing ceremonies of the Ukee Days on July 24.

Richard (Dick) Close died February 24, 2016 at his home in Cox Bay, Tofino. He developed Weigh West Marina (now Tofino Resort + Marina), was instrumental in the development of the Long Beach Golf Course, and was instrumental in founding the Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society and was involved with Tofino General Hospital Foundation.

Past recipients of the Dick Close Scholarship are: Tristan Hinder-Hohlweg, Trinity Clark, Riley Banks, Ellie Law, Tyler Krueger and Chenoah Shine.

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