Class of 2019: Amir Khozaei pursues the American dream with his VCU degree

Amir Khozaei always wanted to attend VCU. He never really considered other schools. “I didn’t even take a college tour,” he said. “I knew this would be the place I wanted to be.”
Amir Khozaei

Amir Khozaei is excited about the future and looks forward to new opportunities after college.

Khozaei is Persian American and will be the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college. He was born in Iran, but fled the country with his mother for the United States when he was a year old.

“[My mother] was like, ‘We have to get you away from this country,’” Khozaei said. “She basically brought me here for a better life, for more opportunity for me to be successful.”

Khozaei will graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the College of Humanities and Sciences. His mother is proud that he has worked so hard and is earning a degree. The journey was difficult but worth the reward, Khozaei said.

Khozaei, who lives in Chesterfield County, always wanted to attend Virginia Commonwealth University. He never really considered other schools, because he wanted to live at home and commute to school.

“I didn’t even take a college tour,” he said. “I knew this would be the place I wanted to be.”

And once he started attending VCU, he realized it was the perfect fit, even if he was initially unsure of his major. He considered going into medicine, but realized he lacked the passion for it. He tried engineering for a while, but eventually settled into a mathematics program.

“I have always been good at math,” Khozaei said. “It’s always been my strong suit.”

Khozaei said he has enjoyed the college experience and has grown tremendously. He explored interests and passions while at college. He did an internship in experience design and has developed strong relationships during his time at VCU.

While he does not have a job lined up, Khozaei has thought about applying to the master’s degree program at the VCU Brandcenter. In general, he wants to continue learning. No matter where he lands, Khozaei wants to be in a place that allows him to help make the world a better place. One of his passions is the creative field, but he is also considering positions in higher education. He enjoys graphic design and does freelance graphic design work in his spare time.

“I have a whole creative side of me,” Khozaei said.

He is counting the days until he graduates, something that both excites and terrifies him. It will be a new chapter in his life, but this is the reason that his mom brought him to the United States. She wanted to see him graduate from a university and be successful.

“I’m now a full-fledged adult, but I am excited about it,” Khozaei said. “College has prepared me to be successful. It’s like my safety blanket is coming off. That is what I always thought of college. It’s a safety blanket preparing you to be the best person you can be.”

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