2024 Tillman Scholar

Karim Ibrahim

Air Force
Georgetown University

“In the realm of justice, I advocate tirelessly. As a lawyer, I aim to stand as a steadfast guardian, bridging gaps, and ensuring the scales tip toward fairness and equality.”

After fleeing the Middle East, Karim navigated the challenges of adolescence as an undocumented immigrant. His journey to citizenship was realized through military service, a transformative experience that shaped his commitment to public service. Throughout his enlistment, Karim had the privilege to serve in diverse roles. Coordinating operations with foreign nations, he led teams in creating the world’s first Bomber Task Force. His responsibilities grew as he was selected for deployment, preparing detailed plans for critical scenarios and supervising teams in Kuwait during Operation Spartan Shield. 

Karim’s resolve was tested when Syrian evacuations were ordered, as he evacuated thousands of refugees searching for a better life, he was reminded of his tumultuous journey toward asylum. Selected for special duty, Karim continued to advocate for his community as a Mortuary Affairs liaison with Congress, where he managed thousands of mortuary cases each year while lobbying to improve access to benefits for veterans across the nation. Throughout these experiences, Karim’s enlistment ignited his desire to continue serving impoverished and forgotten communities. As he neared the end of his military service, Karim graduated from American Military University, summa cum laude, with a degree in criminal justice. 

Today, he remains committed to pursuing justice. A juris doctor candidate at Georgetown University, he aspires of becoming a change agent, fighting for a fair path to citizenship for immigrants. Shaped by his personal experiences with xenophobia, he hopes to shed light on the stigma surrounding undocumented immigrants, and change the narrative, one life at a time.