Dler Ismael Scholarship - Katherine & Jim McDermott

Dler Ismael graduated from Seattle Central in 2010 with an associate degree in Computer Science. Like many Seattle Central students, Dler did not have a linear path to college. At the age of 13, he was forced to join the peshmerga, the Kurdish military, to support his family, but he longed to return to school. After fourteen years, Dler was able to come to Seattle and find a place where he could learn, explore his interests, and realize his potential at Seattle Central.

During his time here, he served in student government, represented students on the Foundation’s board and worked in the IT department. After graduating, Dler transferred to Seattle University where he worked toward a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Tragically, despite Dler’s continued academic success, he committed suicide in 2012.


Members of his American host family, Katherine McDermott and her father, Congressman Jim McDermott, started an endowment in Dler’s name to honor the place he loved so much and to support the students who are transformed by it. This scholarship, scholarship, available to domestic and international students, seeks to remember Dler’s life and the challenges he overcame to follow his educational dreams.