Student Spotlight

For interpreter from Iraq, Brandman is a ‘dream come true’

October 28, 2015
Hayder Abbas

Hayder Abbas

Hayder Abbas was “just a kid” when Operation Iraqi Freedom, also known as the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces, arrived in his country in 2003. For Abbas, it would be a life changing experience and one that would eventually lead him to being an online student at Brandman University.

By 2008 his English skills had earned him a job with the U.S. “I wanted to help my family,” he said and eventually was promoted to cultural advisor.

He was offered a Special Immigration Visa (SIV) and he decided to take advantage of th offer and come to the U.S. to start a new journey.  Responding to a request in the Student Matters newsletter for “interesting educational journeys,” Abbas sent the following:

              I currently am a student at Brandman University, attending full time classes, while juggling two jobs at the same time. I’m the father of 2-year-old beautiful, daughter named, Jaiyana and one quarter away from receiving my bachelor’s degree here at Brandman University, in Criminal Justice, Homeland Security.

                Despite the over load of classes, two jobs and family obligations, I’m achieving good grades and inspiring my family and friends to do the same I plan to earn my bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s and Ph.D. in homeland security. My future plan is to utilize my education, experiences and passion to establish a system that will make my country secured, starting from my own city, Babel province.

                I would like to work for the National Security Agency and also enhance the relationship between the United States and Iraq on the social, economic, and political level. My ultimate goal in life is to make a difference in the relationships and communication of these two countries to achieve positive change during my lifetime.

                Upon my arrival to the United States, I decided to work hard and better my life. I was inspired by the United States, country and people. I decided to start school by enrolling in community college as a full-time student, while working two part-time jobs. After spending one year at the community college, I decided to search for an online school for the convenience. While searching for more than two months, I was referred to Brandman University by my educational advisor at the community college I attended.

                Shortly after I checked out Brandman University website and spoke to Demarcus, the enrollment coach, I fell in love with it. I decided to transfer my credits from the community college and start my journey with Brandman majoring in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security. I must say, everything has been perfect, great enrollment coach, very supportive and knowledgeable education advisor (Alexandra Rojas), very helpful team at the One-Stop. Not to mentioned great and knowledgeable professors.

                I would like to share my life story and educational journey with world, I would like for my story to be published in order to inspire all the people who say they cannot pursue their education due to life obstacles. I manage to juggle a load of three classes each 8 weeks session, two jobs and 2-year-old baby girl and still get high grades. Holding a bachelor’s degree will be like dream coming true, and it is all because this great school, Brandman University.

               Now, I am talking to my amazing education advisor about the possibility of starting my master’s degree right after I graduate with my bachelor’s. Please do share this story in order to inspire all the discouraged people out there.

Abbas says his desire to get an education was inspired by father and by the military men and women with whom he worked, including majors, colonels and generals, and the respect they showed him. “They think on a national security level and really are about making peace in the world. I think you have to start with a great country and this is a great country,” says Abbas.

Brandman, he says, is making his dream come true and he plans to have all his coursework completed by March 2016. “When I tell my parents (about the university), my mom starts crying. She says, ‘Maybe God put these people there to help you out.’”

“I want to make a difference,” says Abbas who is scheduled for a naturalization interview next month. He says it’s a requirement for doing the kind of work he hopes to do with the government “but even if it wasn’t, I would do it.”

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