Family History Inspires Career Interest

By Allison Wrabel | Published on Oct. 24, 2014

Fares AkremiImmigration is part of Fares Akremi’s family history. His father immigrated to the United States from Tunisia at age 28 and his mother’s aunt was granted asylum as a German Jew in the early 1930s. Akremi’s uncle hasn’t been heard from since 1988, when he attempted to leave North Africa.

Those experiences, along with more recent issues, have led the MU senior to realize he wants to make a difference in immigration reform.

Akremi has applied for three fellowships—the Rhodes Trust Scholarship, the Marshal Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship. If awarded one of the fellowships, he would study immigration policy in the United Kingdom.

“These fellowships would provide me the well roundedness and credibility necessary to come back and effect some real change in our system,” he says. “That's the end goal after the end goal.”

It was difficult to select a major—he was always interested in political science. When Akremi was a child, one of his favorite pastimes was listening to National Public Radio politics shows while in the car.

“I didn’t necessarily even understand the context,” he says. “Something about competition that actually matters was really invigorating to me. It's like sports that have much higher stakes.”

However, his second major—geography—was a perspective changer. Geography classes are about more than just maps, Akremi says. A large portion of the subject is about culture, how things happen on earth and how people interact with the world around them.

“Where political science is broad and theoretical, geography is kind of pin-pointed and individual,” he says.

He plans on eventually attending law school and then working in immigration and human rights law. But first, he is hoping for that opportunity to study immigration in the UK.

“When we think immigration issues we so often think of the Latin American issues and I believe that the UK is likely to provide me a more holistic perspective,” Akremi says. “Not that there isn’t opportunity for that here, it's just a lot harder to find.”