Second-year Science student Aziz Ghafoor is using his scholarships to give back to his community. To help other students focus on their academics and gain practical work experience, visit giving.ufv.ca/makeadifference.

Second-year Science student Aziz Ghafoor is using his scholarships to give back to his community. To help other students focus on their academics and gain practical work experience, visit giving.ufv.ca/makeadifference.

“I proved them wrong.” University of the Fraser Valley student beats the odds and finds success

Scholarships and bursaries give students chance to move forward, give back

Aziz Ghafoor has big dreams. And he isn’t waiting for someone to pluck him from obscurity; he’s got a roadmap and a full schedule to get him there.

With all the hurdles he’s faced in his young life, many may have expected him to aim for modest goals. Ghafoor has shot past those expectations.

“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a kid,” he says, “I’m open to all aspects of medicine and I haven’t narrowed my focus yet, but right now I’m thinking of being a family doctor.”

The full-time second-year Science student at the University of the Fraser Valley hasn’t had it easy, but he’s already more focused on paying it forward than paying himself.

Community Service

Ghafoor got his first or many full-time jobs in Grade 10. Balancing a full courseload with 40 hours a week of door-to-door marketing wasn’t ideal, but Ghafoor’s academics and extracurriculars stayed strong. He earned many awards including the prestigious UFV President’s Entrance Scholarship.

“It’s only given out to four students every year, and it covers nearly all of your tuition,” explains Ghafoor.

Earning scholarships means he no longer needs to work full-time, but that doesn’t mean he’s not busy.

“Time managing is what I do every single day.”

He’s a mentor with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, a student ambassador for new UFV students, and current editor of the STEM Fellowship Journal.

“It’s a peer-reviewed journal that publishes research from students across Canada. I read submissions, edit manuscripts, and validate the research.”

But that’s not all.

Medical research

Ghafoor has won multiple research awards from BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute including the BCCHR Summer Research Studentship, which is awarded to only 17 undergraduate and medical students each summer. He’s conducted research in the fields of cardiology, bio-medical science, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynecology.

“It’s quite competitive, but it’s a privilege to be able to contribute to a wider body of knowledge and help advance medicine,” he says.

Now he’s presented his research at various conferences including the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Gynecologic Excellence in Ottawa, and has an upcoming presentation at the National Collegiate Research Conference at Harvard University.

So what does he say when people worry that a small school like UFV won’t give him the same oppotunities as a big university?

“I proved them wrong.”

UFV students make a difference in our lives. Help make a difference in theirs.

Scholarships and bursaries make it possible for students to focus on their academics and gain practical work experience.

Across the Fraser Valley, you will find UFV students becoming the tradespeople, nurses, business leaders and social service providers our community relies upon. To donate, please visit giving.ufv.ca/makeadifference.

Just Posted

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Transit Future Action Plan for Chilliwack and FVRD aimed at increasing services over five years and restoring ridership to pre-COVID levels. (BC Transit)
Future planning for Chilliwack transit aims to restore ridership lost to pandemic

Transit future plan envisions adding peak buses and service hours over next five years

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Looking out over the Fraser Valley from Chipmunk Ridge from the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort. (BVMR)
Chance to ask questions about gondola resort proposal near Chilliwack

Project team for Bridal Veil Mountain Resort is holding another virtual info session

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read