Let’s hear it for Zahraa, the first-ever winner of the Outstanding ESL Student of the Year Award! At the end of Spring 2020, Zahraa received a cash prize of $100.

Zahraa, who is from Iraq, completed her first semester at UTC as an English as a Second Language student. She worked hard to improve her English, and this fall, she has returned to UTC as a biology major.

During CGE’s End-of-the-Year Celebration in May, Zahraa delivered a beautiful speech for a virtual audience — including many of her family members back home in Iraq.

“I would like to thank the Center for Global Education for honoring me with this award. I am thankful for what I have achieved in this semester. I have always wanted to be more knowledgeable about other countries’ culture, and that is what international education means to me. The thing that I love about UTC and especially the Center for Global Education is that everyone is ready to share their culture and happy to hear about your culture too. My biggest lesson from this year is that working hard will always pay off, whatever you do.

Today I am a better person because of my study in ESL and I hope that I will continue studying at UTC and making everyone proud of me.

Special thanks to my teachers, my family, and my uncle and his wife who supported me during this semester. Thank you all for everything.”

Congratulations, Zahraa! We are so proud of your English progress, and we’re glad you are sticking around as an undergraduate student. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish next. 👏 👏 👏



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