GOOD NEWS: Doppler Dave shares how one devastating experience can lead to a inspiring story

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 10:12 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Devastating experiences at a young age can often hold a person back from reaching their full potential in life.

On the other hand, the events can serve as motivation to succeed and inspire others in the process.

”The city that I’m from, which is Mostar, that was the most heavily bombed city in the war. When the sirens would go off, we have to run back into our basement. We used to live in an apartment complex, and we were actually kicked out by some soldiers, and all the tenants had to move into the basement, and so we lived down there for two years without any running water or electricity,” said Azra Barakovic.

The war in Bosnia seriously disrupted life for many, including Azra, whose family came to Amarillo as war refugees.

“We came here not really knowing anybody, and that was a really difficult transition, and for a while, I got made fun of when I was younger for not being able to speak English properly and some of the clothes we wore were hand me downs,” said Azra.

Isolated, alone, and impoverished – her family simply struggled to survive.

“I remember walking down the food aisle and our friends that brought us over here because we were sponsored by catholic family services. When they brought us over here, they took us shopping, and he just kept putting stuff into the carts, and I just tugged on my dad’s pants and I said ‘Is this all for us?’ And it made him cry,” said Azra.

Some people when beaten up by negative life experiences, they start to withdraw and build up walls in life, but not Azra.

“Nothing is permanent. Things can always change, you can’t dictate your life by what happens to you in your past. You can recognize it but then you have to move on and be a stronger person,” said Azra.

Which is the mindset that Azra lives by example. The influence on others is obvious.

“We were all inspired by Azra. Students love her, she connects with them so well. She inspires them to become better and tells them all the time they can do it. It’s a hard job, it’s a hard program, but she tells them every day that they can do it,” said Dr. Holly Jeffreys, Head of Nursing Dept, WTAMU.

“She wants to be a nurse educator which is wonderful for her and wonderful for our students because she’s just a good role model. She’s been through a lot of adversity. She’s had a lot of things she’s overcome a lot of things, and yet she’s so kind and caring and just the perfect role model for the students,” said Dr. Helen Reyes, WTAMU Associate Professor of Nursing.

Now happily married and moving from the role of student to teacher, she passes on her influence of positivity and compassion.

“She’s taught me how to become more compassionate with people. I want to be a nurse like her. I want to teach like her. I want to be able to be loved by students and be looked up to and be able to have people come to me if you’re having a problem,” said Rose Wheeler, WTAMU Nursing Student.

“We’re all blessed to be here and your attitude is what you make of it,” said Azra.

Not only conquering adversity but using it as a platform to inspire others to be better people.

Now that’s some good news!

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