In addition to fundraising and raising awareness about the struggles Afghan women face, Arjmand helped organize Nutana Collegiate’s Disruption Day, which was a presentation about Afghanistan and Afghan culture and contained a message of hope—fitting, because she says becoming a Loran Scholar gives her exactly that.
“Being a Loran Scholar means that there is still a chance for growth, dreams, and hope for a refugee who left everything behind, even her family, in an abrupt overnight change: a change that took basic human rights from me and thousands of girls like me in an instant,” Arjmand said. “It’s also an opportunity for me to try to restore those rights back to others and to encourage them to dream and make goals.”
The Loran Scholars Foundation awards community-engaged students who show strength of character and are ready to embrace the challenge of making the world a better place. The incoming university students’ values-driven approaches to leading and dedication to uplifting their communities distinguishes them as Loran Scholars.
Out of 25 partner universities across the country, Arjmand chose to join the USask community, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies in the College of Arts and Science, which she began this fall.
“There is no doubt that inspiring students like Banin Arjmand will make a difference in their communities and around the world,” said Dr. Airini (PhD), USask’s provost and vice-president academic. “She has demonstrated resiliency, tenacity, and the determination to make the world a better place. We are so pleased to welcome Banin to USask.”
Arjmand said staying in Saskatoon gives her the opportunity to build on the life she began a short while ago in Canada and to continue exploring the province.
“Many choose to live far from home, but I’m already thousands of miles away from the place I call home, and staying in Saskatchewan gives me a chance to care for my elderly parents,” she said.
In addition to advocating for Afghan women and raising awareness about her home country, Arjmand has practiced and taught wushu, a martial art, for the past six years. She also enjoys reading, dancing, and being outdoors.
The Loran Scholars Foundation, established in 1988, is a national charity that works in partnership with universities, donors, and volunteers throughout the country to find and nurture young people who demonstrate character, service, and leadership. The only award of its kind in the country, the Loran Award is a four-year leadership enrichment program that consists of experiential learning through work placements, mentorship, scholar gatherings, an annual stipend, and a tuition waiver.