Local College Student, Advocate For Immigrants, Wins Prestigious Prize
By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A 21-year-old Norristown student who came to the United States with his family from Saudi Arabia 11 years ago has won the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship, given to college juniors planning a career in public service.
Akbar Hossain has had to overcome hurdles to get where he is today. The Franklin & Marshall college student is one of 54 students across the country, and just two in Pennsylvania, to win the award.
He emigrated at age 10 with his family to the United States in 2001, after they won a lottery administered by the US State Department.
He says they were cheated out of money by an immigration counselor, and then three years later his father died, leaving their future in doubt.
He believes there are problems with the immigration system, and he hopes for a career in law.
“Having this prestigious honor and allowing me to work toward my goals of improving that system means a lot — it’s a great honor,” he told KYW Newsradio today.
Hossain excelled in the Norristown Area School District, earning a full scholarship to F&M, where has been involved in community activities both on and off campus.