Majors: biochemistry and chemistry
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
Sonoor has always called Lincoln "home," so attending the University of Nebraska–Lincoln was an easy decision. Even though she was familiar with the university, she still had her worries. How would she navigate college as a first-generation student? Where would she find her support network? Were people going to treat her differently? Would they accept her for who she was?
She knew it was important to go despite her fears — growing up, her family had engrained in her the importance of education, and sometimes it felt like the only thing they could hold on to.
"I think most of all my parents emphasize education so much because I'm a first-generation student — my parents didn't get an education. We fled from war. I'm a refugee. We had no idea what was going on when we first came here."
At first the thought of college was daunting, but once Sonoor started classes at Nebraska, she began to feel at ease. She became a part of the McNair Program, Student Support Services and other organizations, and she also began cultivating connections with student and academic mentors.
Because of all the support she's received as a student, she's already thinking of the ways she will be able to give back to others once she graduates. She plans on becoming a physician-scientist, so she can help patients while also researching illnesses and diseases, and she also hopes to mentor students seeking guidance, as she was once in their shoes.
"Now that so many people have given to me, I think of how I can do it too for others."