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Finding a new lease on life

‘Donors give people like me a second chance’
May 4, 2022

“Coming back to Concordia helped me rebuild my confidence and self-esteem. The bursary gave me hope.”

It was a bursary at Concordia that helped Dima Anbari “overcome financial strain.” The fourth-year John Molson School of Business student says the Robert C. White Bursary supported her in completing her long-overdue bachelor’s degree.

“I unknowingly married an abusive partner who interrupted my studies and moved us to Dubai,” she says. Anbari fled her abuser in 2017 and returned to Canada “with only the clothes on my back, and three children aged 12 and under.”

While living in the Middle East, Anbari supported her family as she forged a career as an independent qualitative research consultant. She only had her DEC (college diploma) in commerce as credentials. “That was fine in the Middle East, but I knew it wasn’t enough to prove myself in Canada. I knew I would need to go back to school for career growth.”

After a complicated return that involved starting her life “from scratch,” Anbari was relieved by the welcome she received back home in Canada and at Concordia. “I thought I would have to reapply after leaving for 14 years, but to my surprise, Concordia just reopened my file. It was a huge load off my shoulders.”

Financial aid soon followed. “I was in my second year when a filing error cut off my financial aid mid-term. I was devastated.” Concordia’s Financial Aid and Awards Office issued Anbari an emergency cheque, and she later received the renewable Robert C. White Bursary. “It gave me peace of mind,” she says. “I have a bit of wiggle room for whatever my kids need. Coming back to Concordia helped me rebuild my confidence and self-esteem. The bursary gave me hope.”

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Anbari plans to apply for a full-time job in her field of study at a large corporation in Quebec. She is also pursuing a minor in data intelligence and professional writing, which she maintains “will open up a lot of new opportunities. Both will support me as a marketer. I also just want to prove to myself that I can do it.”

Anbari is grateful for the opportunity to thank Concordia supporters for their generosity. “Donors give people like me a second chance. Without these scholarships I’m really not sure how I would have been able to continue,” she says. “It’s been immensely challenging. But having a bit of peace of mind financially helps me focus on my ultimate goal, which is having the credentials that will get me back on my feet.” 

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