“Thank you Uplift Charity for making my dream become reality”

Chokri Ben Salem

My name is Chokri Ben Salem. Over a decade ago, I came to the United States to attend graduate school focusing on History. In 2007 I completed my Master’s degree. Lately, and after over 8 years of hard work, I filed my dissertation, the last of the requirements necessary for me to obtain my PhD from UCLA. However, there was only one thing standing between me and my degree, which is to pay the remainder of my tuition fees for my last quarter. Without this final payment, the school will not grant me my diploma, release any transcripts, or allow me to attend my graduation ceremony scheduled to take place on June 15.

After a lot of hesitation and after I found myself in a no-way out situation, I decided to share this huge burden and my overall difficult and stressful situation with friends and family. However, I have to admit that it really hurts me to have to resort to raising funds for the last payment due in order for me to obtain my Ph.D. My family has been supporting me for a long time and is now in no position to help me out with this part of my school fees, especially that my father recently has been diagnosed with cancer. The multiple surgeries he has undergone have unfortunately drained my family’s savings.

After a long search for which foundation or organization I could approach for help, I contacted the Islamic Scholarship Fund, which kindly helped me with a portion of the fees and then referred me to Uplift Charity. As soon as I contacted the organization and left a message, I received a call back from Ahmed who asked me some questions and requested some documents. After he considered the situation he informed me that the organization would cover part of the remaining fees.

Few months have passed and I could not find anyone except a handful of friends who helped me with what they could mainly to meet my daily expenses and needs. Last week, I contacted Ahmed to wish him Ramadan Kareem. He soon inquired about my situation and I explained that I was still going through various financial hardships and that I was still unable to cover the last payment. I informed him that I would not get my dream diploma let alone attend my graduation ceremony (on June 15) if I did not make the payment on time. I also told him how hard it is for me to ask for help, but he calmed me down and told me that he would do his best to help me and that I could count on Uplift Charity organization.

I made an appointment with him last week and took the bus to Anaheim, but I got off the wrong bus stop which is couple miles from the organization’s venue. Ahmed insisted to come and pick me up with his car and drove me to the organization where I met Kareem, a very nice and caring brother who helped with some documentation. As soon as I finished completing the form, Ahmed instantly signed a check towards the payment of the last part of my fees. He also told me very encouraging words such as to keep strong faith in challenging moments like those I was going through and reminded me to be humble and attribute the goodness to the one who answers prayers.

I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Ahmed and Uplift Charity for the generous support towards paying the remainder of my school tuition. Thank you to Uplift Charity for making my dream become a reality and for making it possible for me to obtain my diploma and be there at my graduation ceremony, God Willing.

May God continue to bless Uplift for being such a great support to local people and families in dire need. I cannot even express my gratitude towards all the work that you do to help all those in need from refugees and recent migrants to homeless people and students, etc.

Thank you,

I am thankful to God for your kindness and very generous contribution!

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