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Murat Vural

Murat Vural

The Intercultural Association for Education and Student Support (IBFS) helps children to seize opportunities for successful careers through building multinational networks of immigrants and Germans to support and encourage children to earn advanced education degrees. By forming teams that act as bridges between schools and students and parents, immigrant children become empowered to develop the tools they need to succeed in school and life and then train younger students to become tutors and role models for others. This approach affirms children by providing what they need: recognition, appreciation, and opportunities to prove themselves–making it less likely they
will participate in violent acts or fall prey to extremist groups.

Born in Germany to Turkish migrants, Murat was the first in his family to attend university and is currently finishing his PhD in Engineering. He went to Turkey at 11 years and returned to Germany at 16. While in Turkey, Murat did very well academically and he credits the teachers who believed in him and pushed him to work hard. When he returned to Germany, his ability to speak German was not as proficient and many teachers seemed uninterested in his success. While he was studying and helping his father sell fruits and vegetables, his coursework suffered. However, he graduated at the top of his class. Determined and motivated to succeed at university, he convinced his
sister to attend university as well. Unfortunately, he realized that many of his peers lacked the self-esteem and perseverance necessary to graduate–some did not receive a high school diploma.

Six years ago, Murat started piecing the IBFS idea together. He started an informal tutorial service but realized it was hard to attract immigrant volunteers as teachers,
and no one took him seriously. This is when he realized he had to develop a proper system that involved schools, parents, and immigrant youth if he wanted to create lasting change. He had been accepted to a university and succeeded.

Murat wants to ensure that his son and his son’s peers also have this opportunity. He founded IBFS with his own money in his spare time. Despite lucrative offers as an engineer, Murat dedicates all his time to IBFS.