by Ben Konuch, Student Public Relations Writer
Caroline Abdelmassih experienced a life-changing moment when she learned her college tuition to Cedarville University in Ohio was paid in full by a complete stranger. Growing up in Egypt, Abdelmassih knew it would be almost impossible to attend Cedarville’s School of Pharmacy.
That was until an anonymous act of kindness paved the way for her to enroll and travel across the continent in time for the start of Cedarville’s fall semester.
Abdelmassih previously attended Ain Shams University in Cairo for five years and spent a year working in the pharmacy profession there, but it became clear that working primarily in community and hospital pharmacies wasn’t where she belonged. With both parents heavily involved in medical missions for underprivileged areas in Egypt, Abdelmassih realized that she had inherited a passion to serve through medicine and that she needed to further her education to reach this goal.
“I wanted to communicate with people more, I wanted to be able to provide them with more help and provide them more with medical information that they needed,” said Abdelmassih.
Once her cousin, an alumnus of the pharmacy program, mentioned that Cedarville University could be an option for her graduate studies, she began searching its pharmacy program and liked what she learned.
“The moment I knew that missions, Bible studies and chapel were integrated into the university, it was a huge step for my search,” said Abdelmassih. “I kept reading articles and watching videos and searching for something like it, not realizing that maybe one day Cedarville could be my school.”
With such a high difference in cost of living between Egypt and the United States, she realized that even with Cedarville’s substantial scholarship program, she wouldn’t be able to afford Cedarville University unless a miracle happened. Abdelmassih shared her situation with the university’s pharmacy faculty during a virtual interview.
“I was really bothered that we had found one of the best candidates of the year, and yet she wasn’t going to come,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bates, dean of the school of pharmacy. “It just didn’t make any sense, and so I wanted to have conversations with many friends of our program to see if there was anything else we could do.”
During a conversation with a longtime friend of the pharmacy program, Bates brought up the situation to ask for advice and insight. This anonymous friend was so gripped by Abdelmassih’s perseverance and surrender to the calling on her heart that they were willing to provide a full-ride scholarship to allow her the opportunity to follow her calling.
While the journey wouldn’t be easy in terms of logistics and emotions, Abdelmassih accepted the offer to attend Cedarville, which she received on July 12. Then, exactly one month later, she arrived in Ohio prepared to start a new chapter of life. Her road may have only just begun, but Abdelmassih remains committed to following her calling in faith and surrendering to the God who placed it on her heart — no matter what transitional or educational difficulties may be left to face.
“When I see my country suffering so much and then I could offer it so much if I came here to study clinical pharmacy, even though it would make me move away from my parents for four years, which is hard for me, I knew this was what God was calling me to, said Abdelmassih.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,456 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, such as the bachelor of science in pharmaceutical sciences and the doctor of pharmacy, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.