"Education is the most accessible route to upward mobility for individuals and groups in American society," says Iftekhar Ahmed, who earned three degrees in civil engineering from the University of Arizona, graduating with his doctorate in 2001.
"When I was a student I used to look for scholarship funds," the 38-year-old college professor reminisces. Now he helps make possible the same opportunities afforded him.
Education is Ahmed's profession, as well as the focus of his philanthropy. Following in his father's footsteps, he became a civil engineer and today works as an assistant professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Prairie View A&M University, a member of the Texas A&M University System. He also supports his alma mater with gifts to the UA College of Engineering.
"I cannot give a lot," says Ahmed, "but whatever I do helps out."