Scholarship recipient Fahimeh Naghipour's life passion is to help others through her Bachelor of Nursing, while honouring her commitment to her family.
Fahimeh has overcome more tragic setbacks in her 21 years than most of us would face in a lifetime. Her mother died in Iran, their home country, when Fahimeh was just four. When Iran’s repressive regime restricted education and religious freedoms, her father took his five children to Turkey as refugees in 2005.
Turkey offered no financial or educational support during the three years the family waited to be accepted into Australia. When Fahimeh finally arrived in Melbourne at age 14, she spoke no English and faced enormous educational, cultural and financial hurdles, along with bullying and racism at school.
Often, it all became too much and in Year 12 she almost quit school. “But I finished it because I wanted to get into university. It was what I came here for – I’m the first in my family to go to university.”
The years since her family settled here have brought joys and sorrows. Her father remarried and had another daughter. But in 2013 he had a serious stroke and was hospitalised for a month. During those weeks at his bedside, Fahimeh was so inspired by his nurses that she resolved to make nursing her career. “I could see that this is me. I can do that. I’m that kind of person. I have the personality. It’s just the skills I need to learn.”
Her RMIT scholarship is helping to make that possible. It eases her financial stress as she also juggles educational and family commitments.
Fahimeh is philosophical about the many challenging detours of her life’s journey. “If I hadn’t been through it all, I wouldn’t be here now, doing my Bachelor of Nursing so I can follow my passion for helping people.” Her empathy for others experiencing trauma prompted her to fly to Nepal in 2015 to assist earthquake disaster victims. There she taught primary school students and helped rebuild their village.
In less than three years at RMIT, she has been transformed from a student too shy to ask questions into an aspiring nurse who feels positive about all the opportunities her education and adopted country offer.
Fahimeh wants RMIT’s donors to know she deeply appreciates their support and hopes to become a donor herself one day. “It’s incredible how much impact this money has had and how much of a difference it can make to a person’s life.”