Foreign students win Mother's Day essay contest

Samira Corbadzic
Samira Corbadzic
Mary Mach
Mary Mach

Two students at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ West Davenport Center (WDC) have been named winners in a national essay contest for mothers in school.

Samira Corbadzic of Davenport, who came to the U.S. from Bosnia, and Mary Mach of Rock Island, whose native country is Sudan, are among 10 winners nationally in World Education’s “I am a Mother in School” essay contest. Both students had their essays published on the World Education web site.  Corbadzic and Mach are English language learners enrolled in high school equivalency preparation courses at the WDC.

Samira’s story can be seen at
Mary’s story can be seen at  

Their winning essays give readers a glimpse into the challenges and rewards of trying to manage family and school obligations, as well as into their individual motivations for earning an education, such as helping with their children’s homework and improving their employability.

“We are incredibly proud of these two students, as well as the three additional mothers from our center who entered,” said Dean of Adult Education Peg Garrison. “Samira and Mary, as well as our other entrants, worked on these essays as an optional project outside of their regular classes. They each wrote several drafts over the course of two weeks, making improvements to grammar, spelling, organization, and other basics of essay writing. Both Samira and Mary wrote about having been deeply impacted by coming from war-torn countries, but the positive messages of their essays, about working hard and not giving up, are inspiring.”

Founded in 1951, World Education works to improve the quality of life through education for half a million children and adults in 22 countries.

Located at 2950 N. Fairmount St., the West Davenport Center houses adult and continuing education programs for EICC and Scott Community College

For more information, contact the WDC at (563)326-5319 or visit