Education: Bellevue College, Associate of Science in Engineering, 2018
Bellevue College, Associate in Arts and Sciences, 2017
SU Major: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 2020
Cofounder and Treasurer of Bosnian American Institute, 2011–Present
Math Tutor in Bellevue College Academic Success Center, 2016–2018
Cofounder and Vice President of Organization for Women Leaders in Bellevue College, 2017–2018
President of Bellevue College Physics Club, 2017–2018
Heritage Camp Counselor, 2008–2011
Alfie Scholar, Seattle University 2018–2020
NASA Community College Aerospace Scholar, 2018
Graduation with High Distinction (in each of two Associate’s degrees), Bellevue College, 2017 and 2018
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member, 2015–2018
STEM to Stern Boeing Scholarship Recipient, 2016–2018
Bellevue College Bootstrap Mathematical Award Recipient, 2017
While I am pursuing my Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Seattle University, I would like to develop my knowledge and skills in mechanical engineering and to employ leaders of civility in aerospace research and technological development.
I had always thought that civility is just being kind to people, but it’s more than that. Civility more than politeness; it’s having an honest and meaningful conversation with someone without disrespecting their beliefs and feelings.
Civility is finding common ground in disagreements listening to others’ opinions while connecting with them with our heart and soul. Civility is about making sure that everybody’s voice is heard, and no one is ignored. I think civility is mostly about treating people the way you would like to be treated. I agree with Zygmunt Bauman’s idea that “the main point about civility is...the ability to interact with strangers without holding their strangeness against them and without pressing them to surrender it or to renounce some or all the traits that have made them strangers in the first place.”
I was born in Eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina in the small village of Vitnica. When the war and genocide that was taking place in Bosnia in the early nineties reached my village, my family and I fled to the historic city of Pula on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, where I attended primary school. In 2001, my family and I moved to Seattle where I attended middle school and high school. In the early years after moving to the United States, I had to overcome many challenges in learning the English language and becoming accustomed to American culture and traditions. Following graduation from high school I began to work full-time as a teacher in a preschool. I greatly enjoyed working with young children and helping them to learn and grow.
During this time I co-founded a non-profit organization, the Bosnian-American Institute (BAI), of which I eventually became a treasurer. As a survivor of war and genocide, I feel that I have a responsibility to help my community members heal and succeed in our new homeland.
After a decade of working as a preschool teacher, I decided that it was time for me to continue my own education by attending Bellevue College. After initially struggling in my new role as a college student, my natural curiosity and love of learning motivated me to take many fascinating classes with great professors, and I discovered that I had a passion for astronomy, physics, and mathematics. This new-found interest led me to join Bellevue College’s Physics Club where I eventually became Club President. I also took on a role as a math tutor in the Academic Success Center where I had the pleasure of helping my fellow students overcome some of their fear of mathematics by guiding them through problem solving.
In my life, I have learned the importance of perseverance and having a dedication to always continue learning and growing as a person. I am now excited to continue my studies at Seattle University to develop the knowledge and skills that will help me to make important contributions to space-science research and aeronautical technological development.
Advice (for my younger self):
Finding your path in life takes time, so it is ok to slow down. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and really enjoy everything you are doing. Don’t run away from challenges; instead know that with every challenge you grow and became stronger. Be accepting of criticism, and most importantly treat everyone the way you want to be treated.
What it means to be an Alfie:
Being an Alfie is being aware of our actions and unconscious biases. It means promoting an environment that encourages empowerment and collaboration. Being an Alfie is developing future leaders that foster civility in school, the workplace and in our personal lives. Alfie Scholars are mindful of ourselves and others without judgment and ignorance.