Realizing Dreams


Scholarships can make dreams come true for deserving students. Samir Akal was born in Somalia during the height of a devastating civil war. His family was forced to flee in 2007, and in their time as refugees they moved in and out of camps in Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya, and Egypt. During this difficult time, Samir became inspired by the lack of basic medical and translation support available to refugees. While his family struggled to find a safe place to live, he focused on learning English and using his language skills to help others.

The family eventually immigrated to Alaska in 2014. To help support his family, Samir knew he would have to work full time while attending school, so finishing college seemed a distant goal. It was a joyful moment for his family when he learned he would receive the JJ Klein Scholarship from The Alaska Community Foundation. This scholarship focuses on students who show great promise despite facing adversity.

He is currently working at Providence Hospital and attending the University of Alaska Anchorage to earn a degree as a Physician’s Assistant. Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, students like Samir Akal can achieve their dreams of making a difference in their community.