Nawaf Faie successfully launched his academic career during one of the most challenging and tragic chapters in global history. Far from his home in Saudi Arabia, he met the countless challenges triggered by Covid with dignity and determination. Today Nawaf is a proud Mesa Community College Spring 2023 graduate earning an Associate of Applied Science in Public Relations.
An international student on scholarship from the Saudi government, Nawaf arrived in the United States in 2019 to study at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where he successfully completed the university’s Intensive Academic English program in 2020. Then the pandemic broke out and Nawaf was unable to return to his family in Saudi Arabia due to the ban on global air traffic. “The COVID-19 pandemic prevented me from returning to visit my family. I didn’t see them again until December 2021,” he said.
What could have been a long and unsettling stay in the United States became a rare opportunity for Nawaf to expand and enhance his education. Moving to metro Phoenix in 2020, he enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science in Public Relations program at MCC which was being taught entirely online at that time. In-person classes resumed in 2021.
“It was a challenging experience as I was just learning a new language and online learning wasn’t easy for me in the beginning.” he added, “But, I gained some technical experience during that time and learning quickly turned into a passion.”
In addition to his classwork, Nawaf went the extra mile to secure practical experience in English immersion by becoming an English as a Second Language tutor at the MCC Learning Enhancement Center. “It was one of the most important experiences for me in 2022,” he pointed out.”I could apply what I learned and the difficulties I faced while learning English in helping other students.” Also that year, Nawaf secured a position as a reporter on the Mesa Legend and as a public relations intern in the MCC Office of Institutional Advancement. “I wanted to take the opportunity to hone my academic skills through practical training,” he reiterated.
Nawaf is resolute in crediting his homeland and his family for the success of his experiences in the United States. He intends to complete his educational journey by attending a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree.