Recent News

A Distinguished Scholar Diplomat

Submitted on July 11, 2022

Abir El Hirch is Georgetown College’s first international student to be granted the Distinguished Scholar Award, a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. She can be spotted flashing a friendly smile all over campus as she goes to class and participates in several organizations. Abir comes from the country of Morocco in North Africa. While her dreams aren’t unusual for a young optimist like herself, she has the drive and skills to achieve them.

The 18-year-old freshman, who wants to improve the lives of people around the world, plans to achieve that by studying chemistry and learning how to develop drugs that can relieve people of the effects of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, that have affected her own family, and mental health conditions which she and her age group struggle to conquer. She also has a goal to become a United Nations ambassador, so she plans to take pre-law courses at Georgetown College and study at Oxford University during her junior year in the fall of 2023.

Abir spent her entire life in Rabat, the capital of Morocco on the Atlantic coast, in a multigenerational family household that currently numbers thirteen. Her father is in the Moroccan military and her mother is a chef. While living in her familiar surroundings, she was already working to help others. Abir participated in Oxfam Morocco, an international nonprofit that educates the public about world hunger and poverty. She was also co-president of a charity called Ben and Silya that collects donations of money, food, and clothing for Moroccan nonprofit organizations that serve the underprivileged. “Helping people and giving little bits of myself makes me happy and keeps me going. I see happiness as a whole and my community right at the center of it,” says Abir.

Abir says people ask her how a girl from Morocco found a small college in Kentucky to attend. “I always say, ‘I didn’t find Georgetown; Georgetown found me,’” explains Abir. Since arriving here in August, her first solo trip abroad, she has hit the ground running, participating right away in the Black Student Union, The Georgetonian, Student Ambassadors, and Student Call Team for the admissions department. She also assisted in the chemistry department and joined the newly reorganized Student Mental Health Advisory Council. Chemistry professor Dr. David Fraley appreciates Abir’s cheery face and positive attitude in his class. “She always has positive contributions to lab discussions, asking good questions,” says Fraley.

Abir has found a home away from home in the Phi Mu sorority. “It has provided me with a wonderful support system and sisters that give me so much love and inspire me to love myself and be a better person every day,” says Abir.

Her role as one of the international students on campus already makes her an ambassador to her fellow students, faculty, and staff. She empathizes and connects with people on a personal level, especially those that share her vision of the world’s citizens living in peace with aspirations and hope. “If only our eyes could see the humanity in those we distinguish ourselves from,” says Abir. “Deep within, we are all different. By recognizing other people’s humanity, we are acknowledging our own.”


Request More Info chevron_right