With mixed emotions, Dialogue Institute staff bid farewell to Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) program alumnus-turned-associate, Abdalla Aljubori, as he begins a two-year post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at the University of Washington in St. Louis.
Abdalla came to the DI initially as an Iraqi participant in our 2013 Summer SUSI (click here for more of his story and reflections on that SUSI experience), but eventually returned to serve as an intern and program associate—a valuable member of our team for the past two years. If that wasn't enough, he also worked this summer as our interim accountant (he received his bachelor's degree in accounting from New Jersey City University last year!).
We are extremely grateful for Abdalla's dedication to the SUSI/Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) program and his willingness to give back so graciously and generously to the DI and our students. He is an extraordinary young man with a growing passion and giftedness for this dialogue work, and we wish him well as he moves into the next stage of his life and career. Some parting thoughts from Abdalla are included below:
There are certain experiences in life you just cannot possibly describe in words, and the SUSI program is definitely one of them for me. It is an exceptional and extraordinary program that will forever live with me. I was fortunate enough to go through the program five times—once as a participant in 2013, and four times since. It is never the same; with every group I have a whole new experience where I learn more about myself and meet some of the most brilliant students that push me to set higher standards, values, and morals. Now, with a feeling of deep sorrow, I'm sorry to say that SUSI 2016 will likely be my last program as I'm starting my new journey in this life. Recently I was accepted into a two-year post baccalaureate pre-medical program at Washington University in St. Louis, and this opportunity means the world to me. I must say, though, that it is because of my collective experiences with past SUSI students and staff that I'm choosing this path now. It is indeed a bitter feeling thinking that I might not have the opportunity to be involved with other SUSI programs, but I'm leaving to pursue my life dream with a heart full of love and appreciation to the Dialogue Institute and the SUSI/YSEALI programs. Thank you for everything!