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Chaldeans Want to Know Where the Scholarships Are?
By CE&CC :: Wednesday, May 6, 2009 :: 89747 Views :: Article Rating :: Career & Education, Chaldean Education & Career Center

As the cost of a college education rises, Chaldean students are finding ways to foot the bill. Chaldean Students have won scholarships to pay their way through school. What's their secret?

They know where to find scholarships, when to look for them and how to write for them. There's no guarantee you'll win a scholarship, but there are ways to skew the odds in your favor.

Where's the Money: Anywhere and Everywhere

Do your homework.
Chaldean students seeking scholarship money should take advantage of free online scholarship searches, such as the following listed below:

FastWeb Scholarship Search 
The FastWeb Scholarship Search is the largest, most accurate and most popular free scholarship search site, with more than 35 million registered users. It is also the most frequently updated and provides automatic email notification of new scholarships that match the student's profile. The FastWeb Scholarship Search was the first scholarship database available for free on the web and is the most innovative and student-focused of all the scholarship search sites.

College Board's FUND FINDER
The College Board's FUND FINDER scholarship database lists scholarships and other types of financial aid programs from 3,300 national, state, public and private sources. The database is updated annually.
The database has good coverage of awards and a fairly precise match, but some of the scholarship entries in the database appear to contain old information.

More Specialized Scholarship Databases

In addition to the scholarship databases listed above, there are also several other free scholarship databases specific to a particular major. These databases are smaller, but also more tightly focused.  Be sure to check out the Scholarly Societies and Professional Organizations page.

Also, research the Web sites of colleges you want to attend because they have information about scholarships. The reference section in the library provides books and resources of federal, national and state sources of college aid. The library also has scholarship directories that list awards based on age, state of residence, cultural background or field of study.

Search in your community.

  • Start by asking the organizations and institutions in your community if they offer awards for college. Don't forget about cultural organizations that grant awards based on ethnic background.
  • The Chaldean Federation of America helps Chaldean students with scholarships through their commencement program.  Graduating seniors in both high school and college should enroll in the Chaldean commencement program for a unique and exclusive chance to secure scholarship funds. 
  • The Chaldean Education and Career Center also offers scholarships for students graduating from high school. 
  • Other community sources for scholarships include and your local Chaldean churches.
  • Chaldean students heading to college should also look towards their neighborhood banks and community businesses.  Stores like Wal-Mart and Meijer offer scholarships.

Talk to your school's counselor.
They know your academic record inside and out. Ask them about private and corporate sponsorships that you qualify for and be persistent.  Chaldean students need to be aggressive and consistently remind their counselor about their college interests and needs.  Remember, the squeaky wheel gets oiled. 

Chaldeans shouldn’t limit themselves.
There are also scholarships for unique talents and abilities. Don't confine yourself to academic scholarships or big national awards. Small awards will come in handy too.  There are also awards for those who are athletic, artistic, and religious. 

Chaldeans should start early.
It's never too soon to start your scholarship search. Some organizations give college scholarships as early as sophomore year in high school. There are also programs that you can qualify for that act as scholarships.  For instance, Chaldean students can enroll in programs that allow you to only take two years of undergraduate study in college and automatically be accepted into a professional school like law or medicine.  This in essence is a two year scholarship. 

Chaldeans should be prepared in advance:
Make a list. Focus on deadlines. List the scholarships with the earliest deadlines and give them first priority.

  • Test scores. Take the ACT and/or SAT well in advance; if you need to improve your score, you'll have time to take the tests again before the scholarship deadline. Take practice tests in the fall of junior year in high school, then start taking the real tests during the spring of junior year and fall of senior year.
  • Financial Information. Most need-based scholarships require family income and tax forms to prove financial need. Prepare these forms ahead of time to qualify for scholarships.
  • Write Your Essay. Most scholarship applications require short essays. The essay is your chance to tell the selection committee about your personality, interests and activities, and why you deserve their money:
  • Write more than one essay. You should apply for more than one scholarship to increase your chances of winning, so you should have more than one essay. Select at least three essays from your schoolwork that demonstrate creative thinking and good communication skills. Write two more essays that answer general questions, such as:


  • Of the books you have read in the past year, which was your favorite and why?
  • What is your strongest characteristic and why? What is your weakest?
  •  What person, living or dead, has had the biggest influence on your life?

Make an outline.
Depending on the essay question, pick one main theme to focus the essay and select three ideas that support your theme. Your first paragraph should introduce the main idea and provide any relevant background information, but avoid simply summarizing the essay. The other paragraphs should highlight one idea per paragraph. Wrap up the essay with a conclusion. Most essays should be no longer than two pages single spaced.

Show, don't tell.

It's easy to say, "Having immigrant parents made things more difficult." But it's better to show the reader why: "The mounting pressure to handle traditional parental duties was frightening.  If I made a mistake I could harm the ones I love the most. I often had to translate and handle the processing of bills and letters for my parents, wait in long apathetic lines to fill out confusing forms, or sit in somber emergency rooms holding my dad’s hand reassuring him that the doctors are aware of his pain and that he is waiting on them.”  Include scenery so the reader can visualize your essay, rather than just read it.

Many selection committees will automatically reject applications with misspelled words and grammatical errors.

It's possible for all Chaldeans to go to college.
Don't be discouraged by the price tag on your favorite school. The Chaldean Education and Career Center often holds scholarship workshops, college admission application sessions, and SAT/ACT testing preparation events to help Chaldean students.   


St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  

Rev. Frank Kalabat

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.


Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.