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Rotary Scholar Hopes to Inspire Underprivileged Youth


It was mentors who helped Sheila Safadaran ’08 make her dreams a reality, and now she hopes to inspire others because of the help she received. The business administration major at Loyola Marymount University received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in May and plans to pursue a master’s degree in business at a university in Peru.

“[After grad school] I hope to start a nonprofit that mentors underprivileged youth, and use my business skills to solve problems around the world,” Safadaran said. “I’m honored to be a Rotary scholar, and really identify with their goals as social entrepreneurs.”

Safadaran said that her greatest mentor at LMU was Ramona Wright, faculty member in Communication Studies. Wright offered Safadaran helpful advice about the business world and about her future and encouraged her to pursue scholarships after graduation.

“Ramona has been both a personal and professional example to me, and helped guide my every step of the way through LMU,” Safadaran said.

Safadaran in turn helped others by volunteering for Middle Ground at La Tijera School in Inglewood, Calif. She worked with middle school students, many of whom didn’t think college was an option for them. “Mentoring greatly affects people. It’s rewarding when you help someone see the potential they have inside themselves,” Safadaran said.

The Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship is a scholarship of $25,000 awarded to select students in the Rotary District 5280,  encompassing most of Southern California.  The purpose of the program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of many countries and geographical areas.

“I really found a scholarship that matched what I want to do. I hope to represent the Rotary well, and to make them proud,” Safadaran said. “And, of course, I hope to make my mom proud too.”

Posted Aug. 24, 2009