VSAC has extended the VSAC-assisted scholarship deadline to March 1 to help support families as they navigate the challenge of the latest FAFSA-related processing delay.
Wazirgul Hashimi plans to run for parliament
When asked what his plans for the future are, Wazir Hashimi has a short answer.
“I am hoping to run for parliament in Afghanistan.”
Wazir moved to the United States in 2013 from his home country of Afghanistan with the goal of getting a good education. He spent his junior year of high school at Rice Memorial and graduated from the Long Trail School after moving to southern Vermont to live with his brother. . After high school, Wazir moved out on his own and attended CCV in Bennington for two years before transferring to VTSU Castleton. Wazir will graduate in May of this year with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is now gearing up to apply to business graduate school programs.
Wazir first connected with VSAC’s Education Opportunity Center (EOC) when he began at CCV. He continued to work with the EOC program from year to year at CCV and again when he transferred to VTSU Castleton. His funding through VSAC made it possible for him to consider going on to graduate school—something he has dreamed of achieving since he was in high school.
VSAC’s help in weathering the financial hurdles of funding college has been instrumental to Wazir’s college success.
“It would have been very difficult for me to go to college without VSAC,” he says. “I might have been able to go but may have ended up graduating with a lot of debt, and that debt would have discouraged me from going on to graduate school. Without VSAC’s assistance, I would have decided not to go for financial reasons,” he explains.
COVID-19 has been particularly difficult for Wazir. Three years ago, while a full-time student, Wazir started a transportation business in the Manchester, Vermont, area.
“Everything right now is challenging. I own a business, and COVID-19 has really hurt my business,” he notes. “My company is all about providing transportation to people visiting Vermont. Because people are not traveling, I am facing a huge decrease in business. It has pushed me back professionally. I need to work even harder to get to my goal. It's a huge challenge that I face,” he says.
Asked how he’s handling it all, Wazir explains how he is able to balance his time, given the current difficulties with his business and being a full-time student.
“I have very good time management and a very strong schedule for my work and my time off school,” he says. “It’s very important to have my school load pre-scheduled. I know how much time I will need every day for this coming semester and how much time I need for work and personal time,” he adds.
By the time this article is published, Wazir will have become a naturalized citizen of the United States. He is looking ahead to his future goals as a citizen.
His love of Vermont and interest in serving in public office in Afghanistan combine into a deep desire to bring his two homes closer together.
“My goal is to try to build a better relationship between my two homes,” Wazir states. “To work with Afghanistan and the United States to bridge gaps between our nations in the future is my top priority. I’m currently working with young leaders in Vermont to establish sister cities in Vermont and Afghanistan. This will be formalized by next year,” he says.
Wazir has an incredibly exciting future in store and was very open about EOC expanding his horizons.
“I needed help with all of the parts of the [college] application process. EOC encouraged me to finish my degree and go for my master’s. They’re pushing me to continue my education,” he notes.
Wazir's advice to students considering using VSAC’s EOC services?
“I would definitely encourage students to use VSAC’s EOC program. I have helped connect a number of friends to EOC. It’s super helpful; it's a great thing to do,” Wazir stresses. “You will very quickly get a reply when you ask for help. And most importantly, they will advance your work.”
Educational Opportunity Center: 30 years helping Vermont adults achieve success
Ready to take the next step in your career? Considering a class, certification, career training, or college program? Whether you’re starting for the first time, returning to school after a gap, or are an avid lifelong learner, VSAC is here to help. The Educational Opportunity Center program at VSAC serves adults who do not yet have a 4-year degree. Most adults served through EOC are the first in their families to go to college and have financial barriers to pursuing their goals beyond high school. VSAC EOC counselors throughout the state help with career exploration, education and training options, and financial aid applications.
Our EOC counselors can help you:
- Plan your career path and explore education options
- Get financial aid to help pay for college or career training
- Set yourself up for success in school
- Learn from our weekly Zoom Room on a variety of topics
Ready to access these services and more? Contact a VSAC EOC team member by calling 877-961-4369. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay in touch. We’re here for you.