Knowledge is key. Without it, we cannot grow. It’s why continuous learning is at the heart of everything Mistral does, both internally and externally. By providing scholarships to students all across BIH, we want to give everyone a fair chance for a better future, one full of many opportunities.

Kindness Knows No Bounds

The Story Behind the
Emir Zec Scholarship

When we lose someone dear to us, we sometimes uncover incredible new things about them. This is just what happened when Mistral heard of the passing of a much-loved colleague, Emir Zec.

When the war broke out in BIH, Emir was just 17. Wanting to defend his homeland, he enlisted alongside his brother but tragically lost him. Six months later, just a week before his 18th birthday, Emir suffered another tragedy as he was wounded by shrapnel and left in a wheelchair.

Whisked away under cover of night, Emir was flown out of BIH, eventually making his way to the US in 1993 where 30 operations awaited him.

While in the US, Emir enrolled into school to get his Computer Science degree. But he was missing his home, and quickly found his way back, throwing himself into charitable work.

It was also around this time that he became a part of the Mistral community as a QA Engineer who was not only passionate about his work but about being a trusted mentor to his colleagues.

Sadly, over the years, Emir’s health began to deteriorate. Never one to admit defeat, he carried on as much as he could with a perpetual good spirit. Unfortunately, he lost the battle.

His colleagues at Mistral, heartbroken, channeled all of their grief into action, just like Emir would have. It started with a small gesture, naming one of Mistral’s conference rooms after him. That then blossomed into the People First Award, which is handed out annually to a Mistralovac who does most good for the community, with a financial award that they can donate to a charity of choice. And finally, and most importantly for you reading this, it also led to the establishment of the Emir Zec Scholarship.

Keeping Emir’s legacy alive

Meet the Recipients


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Mirnes Rakovac

Hometown: Tuzla


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Haris Peštalić

Hometown: Gradačac


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Evel Ribo

Hometown: Zenica


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Azra Velić

Hometown: Breza


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Esma Dervišević

Hometown: Visoko


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Efnan Merdan

Hometown: Sarajevo


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Muamer Aličković

Hometown: Zavidovići

The path to the scholarship

We have always put an emphasis on continuous learning for all ages, whether that be through our Junior Accelerator and Paragon full stack programs, practice groups, workshops or even sponsorships for students. And since Emir not only loved helping others but also felt that knowledge and education should be a right, not a privilege, establishing a scholarship in his name was the best way to keep his legacy going.

To ensure we don’t miss out on any outstanding students deserving of this scholarship, we collaborate with the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Futures Foundation (BHFF) who have far-reaching access to students all across BIH.

Who is eligible?
What’s provided?

Each year, the Emir Zec Scholarship is awarded to two outstanding BHFF scholars who:

  • Have a strong interest in IT
  • Lack opportunity for growth in their communities
  • Are of a lesser financial standing
  • Demonstrate selflessness and a willingness to help others

Eligible students will be able to pursue their lifelong ambition for learning while also doing charitable works. Mistral will not only be there to contribute towards the scholarship, but also to introduce the students to the ways of Mistral, providing them with a head start on their future professional journeys.

What’s provided?

The scholarship provides recipients with:

  • A financial stipend of 1500 BAM for one year
  • Priority access to the internship programs
  • Opportunity to work with a mentor from Mistral
  • A chance to shadow a Mistralovac for one week
  • Exclusive access to Mistral’s practice group, learning sessions, as well as meetups and events

The next call for scholarship application will take place in October 2022