Today@Sam Article

Doctoral Candidate Shares Story Of Perseverance

April 19, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Haney

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Sam Houston State University Higher Education Leadership Doctoral Scholar, Rami Alsakran, was invited to present a Misk Talk in Houston on April 7 titled, “I Don’t Have Dreams, I Have Goals,” to an audience of his international and scholarly peers.MISK 2

The Misk Foundation, a non-profit established in 2011 to empower Saudi youth, hosted the series of inspirational talks in an effort to cultivate the unique drive of Saudi and American youth, enable the sharing of ideas and experiences and highlight the educational and professional excellence of Saudi youth in various fields.

During his speech, Alsakran described his journey to the United States as an international student from Saudi Arabia and his pursuit of higher education when he moved to the U.S. in May of 2007, as a first-generation, non-native English speaker.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid at first. Moving to a different country and being in a new place was one of the main challenges that I faced,” Alsakran said. “At that time, I was able to speak only a little English, but what helped me to overcome the challenges that I experienced in the beginning of my journey was being open-minded, and more importantly, being patient and committed.”

Though his journey was not without its set-backs, he often credited the power of perseverance for getting him through difficult times. 

“Failing is part of the process,” Alsakran said. “Dreams do come true. You can transform your dreams into reality if you do whatever it takes.”

Alsakran now holds a bachelor of business administration from The University of Texas San Antonio, a master of business administration from SHSU and is in the process of earning his doctorate of education in Educational Leadership from SHSU.

“We are so proud of our SHSU EDL Doctoral Scholars like Rami - who are now sharing their experiences with international audiences,” Paul Eaton, assistant professor for the Department of Educational Leadership said.

For Alsakran, he always dreamt about giving a speech in front of an audience in English and was determined to meet this goal.

“I did see this day coming because I prepared myself for it. I worked very hard to learn everything that I could to be a good presenter and an excellent English speaker,” Alsakran said. “Giving a talk at the Misk Foundation gathering was my first official public speaking event, but it will not be my last. It was an amazing opportunity that I had been waiting for a long time.”

He concluded his talk with a call-to-action to higher education leaders about their responsibilities to provide support for Saudi students, and all international students. He also offered advice to students currently struggling with their educational goals.

“My advice to international students is to not give up on their dreams. The following are the things that helped me during my time in the United States for the past 11 years: Plan right, organize yourself, learn from your mistakes, be strategic, efficient and be patient.”

To view his entire speech, visit here.

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