SMU Magazine

Originally Posted: December Issue

As the son of refugees, Kovan Barzani ’17 wanted to make the most of his University experience. While a triple major at SMU, he managed a Texas House campaign, started a program to teach refugees job skills and turned a finance internship into a full-time job.

“My mother didn’t know how to read,” says Barzani. War kept her from completing elementary school, and eventually Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime forced Barzani’s parents to flee for a new life in the United States.

In middle school, Barzani helped his mother learn English and pass her U.S. citizenship test. By the time he graduated from high school, he had scholarship offers from three schools. He says, “When I realized there were more opportunities to double or triple major at SMU, that was a huge factor in my decision to come to the Hilltop.”

Read more about Kovan Barzani ’17 and other SMU World Changers.