Pre-Med Star Wins Prestigious 2015 New York Times Scholarship
By Jailene Peralta, Copy Editor
Pre-Med student Mah Noor has recently won the 2015 New York Times College Scholarship . She won 7,500 dollars a year for 4 years, a laptop, counseling for college and a summer job at the New York Times. She earned this achievement through her strength to overcome hardships and her studious ways.
Mah ended her 4 years at Hillcrest High School with an impressive resume. She has won 5 Model United Nations awards, is the current president of the Premed Committee, and was part of the Health Organizations Students of America (HOSA). She’s also involved in peer tutoring, York Summer Research Program and a docent at the New York Aquarium.
Mah has overcome obstacles which could have deterred her from achieving her goals , but she managed to turn things around. She struggled with her home life and illnesses surrounding her father. “It hasn’t been a burden but it has been an obstacle, ” said the aspiring cardiovascular surgeon. She thinks that her experiences have taught her to cope with difficult situations but her self confidence was all over the place senior year. She did not even think she would be a semi finalist. “I just applied, I didn't have any hope. Lately due to many different things in my life happening all at once my self confidence was at its minimal. ”
She used her support system to help her get through it all. One person that she went to when she had troubles was Mr. Ertel. “My guidance counselor is almost like my coach and the person that has motivated me since day 1 of senior year. When I told him I was a finalist, he said don’t worry you got in the bag. He believed in me and didn’t stop cheering for me even when I wouldn’t do so well."
Pre- Med Director Mrs. Piccirillo has been a great influence in Mah and has helped her when she doubted her talents. “My biggest support and my role model has been Mrs. Piccirillo. I go to her office everyday and can literally talk to her about anything. Rather its personal issues or things related to school. She has been like my mother in school. She has taught me to accept my flaws and failures and learn from them, there will be things you might never get but never give up.” She also gives gratitude to her friends that been with her and supported her no matter what she feels that she can share anything with them and they never make her feel alone.
Now Mah is a New York Times scholar. Even though she doesn’t see herself as a scholar others do. Mrs. Piccirillo states that Mah “is a role model, an inspiration to many, and a true leader. I am extremely proud of her and know that she will be nothing but the best at whatever she chooses to pursue.” She wants to take advantage of the opportunities given to her and become a cardiovascular surgeon.
Mah believes that she needs to be a role model , especially for her younger siblings. “It comes through my representation in school , whether its in volunteering or studying. Its important to me to show them that you don’t have to be top person but you have to make sure your home life shapes you in a positive way.” Mah also values and emulates her mother’s strength. “You gotta make the most of it , you gotta overcome it.”
This year Hillcrest High School had various students that were semi finalists for this prestigious award. They were Tasnim Mollah , Keli Almonte, Sonya Jones and Tracy Villalpando.
MAH WINS NYT SCHOLARSHIP