Becoming a social worker and helping those in need has always been a fundamental goal for Marianne Al Awar. “I have always loved the idea of working with people. I volunteered quite a lot at a young age, and I still enjoy doing so now,” reflects Al Awar, a third-year student pursuing her BA in Social Work and Community Development at LAU.
Determined to make a difference, Al Awar is an avid volunteer. Her passion for helping others led her to reactivate and become the president of the Animal Care Club, which she won the Initiative Award for at the LAU Club Awards Ceremony, in addition to her participation in many other student clubs. When Al Awar is not busy on campus, she is volunteering to help her community. She has most recently volunteered at the UNHCR and the Caritas Organization, spending months teaching English and Arabic to the country’s most underprivileged youth, and educating them about their human rights.
Despite her busy schedule, Al Awar also juggles between internships – one at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and another at the Abaad Organization. Ultimately, she aspires to launch her own NGO geared towards helping single mothers in Lebanon. She credits the Civic Engagement department at LAU, and the guidance of her professors and peers, for instilling the values in her that have led to many of her achievements today.
While giving back to her community is a priority for Al Awar, she still manages to keep her education at the forefront of her responsibilities. In fact, she has maintained exceptional grades – winning the highest GPA award several years in a row – among many other successes.
“LAU has had a huge role in shaping my personality, values, and beliefs. It widened my perspective on various topics, and inspired me to get more involved in society and the problems faced by it,” she explains. Adding to this, she notes that the teachers, rich courses, and inspiring students at LAU have helped foster in her a tolerance and openness for the world around her. “I now see myself as a person who is highly tolerant and respecting of people’s various beliefs and values, and I owe that to LAU,” she adds.
LAU is determined to shape well-rounded individuals, like the one Al Awar is clearly becoming. She is especially grateful to be an LAU student given that the tuition fees were not initially feasible for her. The recipient of a full USP scholarship, Al Awar says that the opportunity has completely changed her life. “I can simply say that without this scholarship, I could have never been able to study at LAU and take on such an incredible journey that helped me grow exponentially,” she reflects.
Al Awar is one of the many recipients of financial aid covering her tuition fees at LAU. Both merit and needs-based financial support are a central pillar of LAU’s mission to offer academic excellence to its most deserving students, and Al Awar is an exemplary illustration of that. No matter how trying the times may be, LAU strives to continue to raise funds for scholarships so that students like Al Awar can continue to find their passions and achieve their dreams.