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Ahura Scholarship Recipients for school year 2008-2009

Ahura Scholars: $3000

  • Ms. Pantea Gheibi
    • Field: Bio-engineering, University of California at Davis, USA
  • Mr. Afshin Abadi
    • Field: Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California Los Angeles, USA

Ahura Strivers: $1000

Pantea Gheibi I am Pantea Gheibi, a first year undergraduate student at University of California, Davis. Currently I am pursuing my Bachelor degree in biomedical engineering.

In recognition of superior academic achievement and promise of leadership I was selected as the alumni scholar (The Cal Aggie Alumni Association of the University of California, Davis) for the year 2008-2009 from Santa Clara County.

I was the co-caption of the girl tennis league champion in 2007-2008 academic years. Also, I am the founder and the first year president of the mathematics club at my high school. Moreover, I was an active member of many clubs during the past years inside and outside of my high school (e.g. key club, international club).

I attended the National Youth Leaders Conference, a leadership program in Washington D.C. on fall 2006 from Santa Clara County. I was also selected to attend GYLC (Global youth leaders’ conference).

I believe that I have earned many leadership skills from volunteering. I have been the only student member of the DMHS’s English Learners Advisory Committee (ELAC) for the past two years. I worked volunteering for the EL (English learner) department during the summer as a helper and sometimes as a translator during the school year. In addition, this year beside of being one of the officers of the PZYO (Persian Zoroastrian Youth Organization), I am volunteering as a teacher’s aid for children (religious) classes at Darb-e Mehr(San Jose).

Beside my leadership achievements, I was a CSF (California Scholarship federation) lifetime member and a Del Mar P.T.A. Scholar for academic excellent in 2008. In addition, Bank of America has presented to me an achievement awards in the field of Science on Spring 2008.

Overall, I have started my life from zero several times and experienced so many unique things through out my journey to America, but What I have been through my whole life has made the person that I am today, a hard working, and bilingual, multicultural student.

Watch Pantea's video by clicking here

Afshin Abadi Afshin Abadi is a second year graduate student at University of Southern California Los Angeles, in Electrical Engineering. Afshin completed his B.S degree in Electrical Engineering from Yazd University and his M.Sc in Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University, Tehran, Iran.

During his time in Iran, Afshin was an active member of Zoroastrian community. He had a number of activities in the Zoroastrian community. He participated in every Zoroastrian sport competition. As a volunteer, he was involved in the organizing of the Zoroastrian events.

He is one of the founders of the Zoroastrian society at the University of Southern California (USC), currently serving as the vice president. Last year, the society endeavored to have university professors join as advisors. The Zoroastrian society at the USC plans to invite professional Zoroastrian speakers in the near future to familiarize the student body of USC with the Zoroastrian religion.

Watch Afshin's video by clicking here

Mehernaz Percy Savai Mehernaz Percy Savai is from Surat, India and is currently in her first year at Purdue University. In 2007, she graduated with distinction and a B.E in Electronics and Telecommunication from Purdune University. After college, she worked as a lecturer in an engineering college. She is currently pursuing her masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

During her bachelors, she was the president of many organizations such as ELESA (Electronics Students Association), VSI (VLSI society of India) student chapter and INVIGOR (national level technical festival). She was selected among top 40 students of India to attend a 1 month Summer school at IUCAA (Inter University center for astronomy and astrophysics). She was voted the 'Student of the year' by the faculty and classmates. Participating in the development of advanced airplanes, space shuttles, and satellites would fulfill her aspirations. She plans to do a PhD after her graduate program. In the long term, she would like to become a professor in order to share her knowledge and experience and instruct the next generation of aerospace engineers.

Watch Percy's video by clicking here

Parisa Javedani Parisa Javedani is a first year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University's School of Medicine in Portland, OR. Since starting medical school, Parisa has continued working with underserved populations by volunteering in free clinics in the Portland area. She has also undertaken a leadership position in the SNMA student group. This group's goal is to provide support for minority students who hope to pursue a career in medicine. In her free time, Parisa enjoys skiing, swimming, and traveling.

In 2008, Parisa graduated from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR. During her undergraduate time, she was a member of several honor societies and received several prestigious awards, including the Presidential Scholar and Bowerman awards, from the University of Oregon. At the University of , Parisa undertook leadership positions in student organizations on campus, including a vice-president position in Alpha Chi Omega. Aside from her academic achievements, Parisa was also an active member of both the Portland and Eugene communities, and she volunteered for over 5 years with several non-profit organizations.

Parisa has provided an article instead of a video which can be found here.

Shireen Havewala Shireen Havewala is currently pursuing her masters in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. She graduated this year with a B.A in Political Science from St. Xavier's College, Bombay, India.

She has had the opportunity to represent India at several conferences organized by the United Nations significant ones being those in Vienna and Lahore. Shireen was also actively involved in initiating the first Right to Information (RTI) campaign in Bombay. Shireen has been involved in a lot of social causes such as working on a food chain programme for the poor through the Social Involvement Program department in college. She has helped at the Xavier's Research Centre for Visually Challenged (XRCVC) by writing examination papers for the blind students and working with them on various projects. She has lent her time to the physically challenged children at the spastic society of India by teaching them at the elementary level.

At her current institution she is actively involved in working with Amnesty International. She hopes that this experience and opportunity will help in her goal to bring about that little change in the world that we all strive for.

Having been a recipient of various Zoroastrian Scholarships, she hopes to use this support and encouragement to strive harder and work towards her goals and prove herself worthy enough to be a part of the Zoroastrian community and the world in general.

Watch Shireen's video by clicking here

Jimmy AntiaJimmy Antia: As a Zoroastrian youth the values of the Gathas, Zaratushtra’s sacred songs, have played an instrumental role in my life. Zaratushtra’s urging the “we be the one’s who make the renovation of the world,” would be echoed by the American patriot Thomas Paine, and later by Ronald Reagan, when they said “we have it in our power to remake the world.” These values compelled me to pursue a career in public service – first by working with the United States House of Representative and later the Environmental Protection Agency.

My emphasis on public service and creating a better world led me to study international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Realizing that today’s conflicts can not be resolved without rebuilding entire societies, I study the nexus of two increasingly intertwined issues – international security, and international development.

This past summer, I interned with a United Nations field office in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, an area devastated by the 2005 tsunami, and before that, a 30-year civil war. As part of my project, I evaluated the process of reintegrating former soldiers of the civil war into civilian life. Moreover, I analyzed the policy decision-making process of the field office, and offered advice on mitigating against possible negative effects of providing aid. As part of an environmental study tour to China, I examined the political and security implications of China's rapid growth, and what it meant for Chinese citizens, the environment, and China's neighbors.

As I begin to complete my final year of study, I hope to use the knowledge and skills I have learned in helping the U.S. government create effective strategies to aid countries plagued by civil strife and poverty. It is the responsibility of every Zoroastrian to dedicate their personal and professional lives to creating a better world. Only through our thoughts, words and deed can we bring Zaratushtra's vision to completion.

Watch Jimmy's video by clicking here