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The Co-operators Scholarship

"A helping hand from others makes so much of a difference," says Samaneh Javand, noting that this is true no matter which path one is on. 

For this full-time Humber student, the path has been made easier thanks to The Co-operators Scholarship, which is presented to a student in the Insurance Management–Property and Casualty program who has demonstrated innovative and outstanding leadership, works collaboratively in the classroom, and maintains high academic standing.

Samaneh received the scholarship as she entered her second semester of the program, and was thrilled to learn of her selection. As with so many of the gifts that Humber's community of donors contribute, it not only provides financial support, it is a heartening acknowledgement that one is pursuing the right direction.

The beginning of that journey involved numerous roadblocks for Samaneh—particularly the process of immigrating to Canada from Iran.

"I knew I needed a French certification to qualify for a skilled-workers visa. I studied French four times a week while working full-time to pay the fees involved in immigrating. I earned my French certification in less than a year. At the age of 22, I took the next step in my immigration journey and interviewed with an immigration officer. Sadly, as a result of upheavals in the Middle East, my immigration application documents were delayed."

Samaneh waited another three and a half years, refusing to be disappointed and instead focusing on saving money for her ultimate move to Canada. 

"I'd applied for immigration in 2009, and finally, in 2013 I received my visa. Within two months, I made the trip across the ocean and landed in Montreal. I struggled, initially, because the Parisian French that I had learned did not directly line up with the dialect in Quebec. I also experienced culture shock and had to get used to the weather. It was challenging to leave my family and everything I knew. Several years later though, I can say that I am a Canadian and I am working towards an exciting career in the insurance field."

With insurance having become an integral part of virtually everything we do in life and business, roles within the industry are many and varied—and Samaneh is very focused on making a significant contribution.

"After graduation, I hope to be hired as an underwriter's assistant or associate and gain experience under experts in my field. I will work to become the head of an underwriting team, building a specialization and mentoring other underwriters. I will strive to support insurance brokers and develop policies that prevent insurance fraud and its trickle-down consequence of higher premiums for customers.”

"In developing policies, I will be building connections with different professionals and researching other industries. I look forward to these challenges, and to writing effective policies that cover the demands of the industry and its customers."

It's a goal that the scholarship is helping to make possible. After all the difficulties overcome to get this far, Samaneh feels particularly fortunate to have experienced the generosity and commitment of The Co-operators, her professors, and the industry professionals she has met through the program—to have been a recipient of vital helping hands along the way. 

"Thank you for helping me pursue my passions and showing me that there are others rooting for my success."