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Syrian Youth Empowerment Recipients Testimonials:

Reported by Lizzie Edwards, SVR Volunteer

March 23, 2021

“Students from war-torn countries can offer a lot to the world too. They are an untapped source of innovation, opportunity, and talent. The circumstances we go through must not be perceived as a reason for disadvantage, but one for resilience and strength. We thrive in our communities, for we have learned to cherish those we can lose. We thrive in our studies, for they empower us to empower others by making the difference we needed ourselves not too long ago, at home.”


- Ralph, SYE Class of 2014/15, Harvard Class of 2021


“When I was back home, I always had to make the best out of what I have. I had to get as much as I could from my school and then continue studying and reading on my own. I had to teach myself programming and I had to do Robotics with very basic equipment. But now that I got here, I have all the opportunities to learn. So, I take the best and hardest classes that I can manage and I do all the available fun activities. I love my college and I’m thankful for all the chances available here.” 


- Massaoud, SYE Class of 2018/19, Harvard Class of 2023 


"With SYE I realized that my life is full of AMAZING things that I didn't notice! Reflecting on my life and what I have done in the last 3 years made me have a better understanding of myself in the context of my entire life. With admission or without, with scholarships or without, this will remain a sweet period of personal growth, and its traces will be seen across my life for the rest of it."


- Younnes, SYE Class of 2020/21


"For me, as Omar, I neither felt much belonging to somewhere nor had a support system to depend on. But once my journey with SYE started, fellow students became family that I went to for advice, had fun with, and vented comfortably to when I needed. SYE has successfully created an atmosphere for changemakers and leaders, and gave us the space to create and develop new things in the program, a thing we couldn't do much in our schools or country. If I have an idea, it's always warmly welcomed. Our accomplishments and achievements are always applauded and appreciated which motivates us to do more. In addition, SYE's team made us aspire to start our own projects to change the world, and gave us hope and love for our country again after being introduced to it as a war-zone and a country of poverty and tragedy. Thanks SYE! Thanks George, Majed, Yasmin, Elysa, Nibras, and all mentors, leadership team, and others for the incredible work to build our potential. The colossal impact of SYE won't only appear in acceptances to Ivies and world colleges, but will clearly show when we start our journey abroad to educate ourselves and with that bring back the knowledge and experiences back to our beloved country, Syria. Thanks so much for being my older siblings, my family, and I hope to make a change with you, SYE family and friends, and all for a better future for Syrians and all the youth and people around the world. I'm forever indebted and in awe for your help. Thanks so much, we're all looking forward to working with SYE to change lives of youth that will be the ambassadors to global change"

Meet SVR Volunteer, Lizzie Edwards

Lizzie Edwards, SVR Volunteer, Working Group 1 

Lizzie Edwards (she/her) is a senior at Wesleyan University. She is majoring in Anthropology and Environmental Studies and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies. She currently serves as Co-President for Wesleyan Refugee Project, a student group that partners with local refugee resettlement agencies as well as domestic and international non-profits. She has interned with several organizations, including the resettlement office of Jewish Family Service of San Diego and Reclaim Childhood, a peacebuilding organization which provides programming to Jordanian and refugee youth.

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