Bellevue College student Amyr Zafar Haq wins national award for disability awareness work
BELLEVUE, WASH. – Bellevue College student Zafar Haq, of Bellevue, has won the national Two-Year College Student Achievement Award for 2010 from the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA).
Haq received the award, which included a $500 scholarship, at CEIA’s national conference in Boston.
CEIA’s Two-year College Student Achievement Award recognizes the most outstanding student participant in a two-year college cooperative education or internship program in the prior year.
Haq is being honored for his service as a Bellevue College Rotaract Nepal/USA Disability Awareness Campaign Intern in 2009. In that position, Haq and five other interns journeyed to Nepal for 10 days to learn about the physical, social and financial challenges faced by local residents with disabilities.
After returning from Nepal, Haq and his fellow interns implemented a series of service projects and events to raise disability awareness — including a campus-wide event called The Ability Experience, which gave students, faculty and staff the opportunity to experience some of what it means to live with a disability.
Haq also initiated a fund-raising campaign to buy wheelchairs for one of the agencies his delegation visited in Nepal. Two wheelchairs have been donated so far.
Haq’s other community involvements extend well beyond the Bellevue College campus. He currently serves as a national director for a mentoring program for young Muslim men and works as an assistant organizer for Meetup.com, for which he has coordinated Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-a-Highway projects, among many others. He also has performed volunteer work at Evergreen Hospital and the Seattle University Center for Service.
Haq already holds an associate in arts and sciences degree from Bellevue College and will receive a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Washington in June. He is continuing at Bellevue College to continue his preparation for medical school, with the ultimate goal of improving access to medical care in underserved areas of the world.
I sat in a very interesting presentation about the strategies and resources available to differently-abled students to gain access to the labor market.
To learn more about these resources, visit: http://tinyurl.com/kucbcg
Sitting on the student panel next to a future astronaut! Sharing stories from my Nepal internship with co-op and internship coordinators across from the nation.
Zafar here, just updating everyone with the trip details. I will be attending the CEIA (Co-op Education Internship Association) Annual Conference over the next 3 days. Tomorrow night, I will be presented with the Two-Year Student Achievement Award for the contributions made during my Nepal/USA Disability Awareness Internship. I am extremely honored and humbled to be here, representing Bellevue College.
This is the first time I’ve been to Boston, and I’m loving it already! The weather is like Seattle, they have an awesome transit system (called the “T”) and I had dinner at Panda Express before walking around the Bay Back area. Tomorrow I will be speaking on a Student Panel for Internships.
I will be updating the Bellevue Rotaract Youtube with videos and I’ll link them to the posts in here so you can keep up on all the details.
Finally, I wanted to thank all the people who have helped me to get here. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have made it this far 🙂
- Laura McCray
- President Jean Floten
- Jerry Bunce
- Faisal & Teresa Jaswal
- Susan Gjolmesli
- Katie Boudadene
- My Nepal Team (Jenny, Nell, Katie, Marilyn)
- Bellevue Rotary
- Rob & Gina Rose
To recap…first we had them attend a whirldwind of 5 weekly trainings (3 hours each) – to prepare for the trip. Training inlcuded learning about the Nepal culture with Jerry Bunce and myself (and eating the food at my home!), team building with Peter Prescott, Disabilities awareness sensitivity with Susan Gjolmesli, A “Dependable Stengths” workshop with Sharen Felton….and of course the scary paperwork and prep with Faisal Jaswal and Chris Stoynov. Then we shipped off a very strong team… that will return even stronger and fulfill our ultimate vision to “develop into leaders that are curious about different cultures, who are sensitive to different abilities and different ways of life, and who utilize their awareness to become engaging global citizens right here in their own community.”
25th March, Wednesday Arrival in Kathmandu
Mahesh: “They arrived yesterday night at scheduled time, but came a bit late out of the terminal. They missed one luggage bag and hope to get it soon.”
26th March, Thursday
Visit to Wheelchair Club, Bhrikuti Mandap
Visit to School for the Deaf, Naxal
Mahesh: “Today was a busy day, but they enjoyed the day. We went to Wheelchair Club first and had a very good interaction with President of the club. After lunch, we visited Deaf Students Hostel at Bhatbhateni. Then after, sight seeing at Kathmandu Durbar Square. The lunch was arranged at Bakery Cafe, Thamel where waiters are deaf. I hope, the group have no complain of their service.”
27th March, Friday
Visit to Disability New Life Center (DNC)
Visit to Patan CBR Rehabilitation Center
Dinner with Patan Rotaracters & Family
Mahesh“…we have DNC visit and lunch with the kids. Then after, art program at Patan CBR. In the evening, home hosted dinner with Patan Rotaracters… arranged three families of Patan Rotaracters for the dinner and they will be having separate dinner at three homes. I hope, all will enjoy the Nepali food.”
28th March, Saturday
Club meeting of Rotaract Club of Patan
Heritage Tour of Patan Town
Guests at Rotarian Pushkar’s home/demonstration of making of wool items Tentative – Cultural musical event performance with Rotaracters Sacheen and his band
29th March, Sunday
Visit Boudhanath Stupa
Lunch at Flavor’s Café
Project (Musical/art) at LDC- Disability Center in Jorpati
Time permitting – Nepal Orthopedic Hospital in Jorpati (time permitting)
30th March, Monday
7 hour, bumpy, winding road trip to Pokhara
31st March, Tuesday
Boat across Lake Phewa & day hike to Peace Stupa
Interviews for Documentary
1st April, Monday
Leave Pokhara to Manakamana Temple
Visit to Manakamana Temple/Lunch at top
Back to Kathmandu
2nd April, Tuesday
Visit with Jamuna Subedi – Project Administrator, Rotary Nepal 3-H Disability Awareness Campaign.& Kedar Pandey
Visit US Embassy
We asked Jamuna to join our team as much as possible during their visit to help give an overview of what life is like in Nepal for someone with a disability.
Mahesh: “we had a fruitful meeting at the US Embassy. Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Randy Berry was so kind enough to listen to us. And of course, Linda Kentro was so much interested to get the video that David will prepare. It was a good day
at the embassy. She suggested me for briefing regarding Disability Awareness Campaing during the some programs of USAID and other foreign development agencies working in Nepal. That would be a great opportunity to promote our campaign.”
3rd April, Wednesday
Rotary District Conference
The group would have been able to attend the opening day of the conference…but just
missed, by one day, the launching of the Disability Awareness Campaign. I wanted to
share the notes Mahesh sent about the conference the next day…as it shows how very
important the Disability Awareness Campaign is, and the sheer scope of it!
According to Mahesh “Rotary District Conference was inaugurated by the President of
Nepal. Also, we are happy to see the unveiling of our Disability Awareness Project
Logo with a message “We all are able” and can you guess, who unveiled the logo ? Its
Rotary International President’s Representative, Rtn. Young-in Kim Sung Sin of South
Korea in presence of President of Nepal. That was great!”
I also heard from Rob and Gina Rose that the “Brad Pitt” of Nepal was also there for