Sarah Wins Posse Scholarship to Attend Brandeis University
by Zainab Tahir, Editor-in-Chief
The Academy of Media, Arts and Music senior Sarah Khimjee won a 2014 POSSE Scholarship to attend Brandeis University with a full four-year scholarship. This monumental moment was just the first in a series of impressive events for Humanities senior.
Sarah recently introduced Melinda Gates at the fifth annual Social Good Summit in in New York City during September as a representative of Hillcrest’s Girl Up Program. The summit involves the convening of world leaders, pioneers of media and technology, activists and experts from the UN and around the world. They discuss how innovations in technology have impacted our world and how the potential of what those innovations offer can be used towards solutions. Sarah, as one of twenty young women in the United States, received an invitation on behalf of her status as a teen ambassador for the Girl Up Organization to introduce businesswoman and philanthropist Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The process began when Sarah re-established the basic foundation for Hillcrest’s Girl Up Club in 2012 with former Hillcrest teacher Ms. Smith. She institutionalized a foundation for the club that helped the club prosper and become more involved within the broad Girl Up Community in the US. She received confirmation for her status as a teen ambassador for the club during the beginning of summer 2014. Soon afterwards, Sarah received the invitation to introduce Melinda Gates at the summit.
Aside from Melinda Gates, Sarah also received the opportunity to interview Denise Dunning afterwards on the red carpet. Dunning is an advocate for women and girls, and the Founder and Executive Director of Let Girls Lead, Champion for Change, and the Youth Champions Initiative. Sarah also met Muhammad Yunus, an entrepreneur who revolutionized the world of micro-finance. What Sarah took from this experience is "that opportunity has led to several others and I've come to realize that saying yes to opportunities thrown your way is great." Sarah’s involvement with the Summit has allowed for the opportunity for future Hillcrest students to get more involved through the networking and model she has set for the school.
Sarah also brought the Youth Take Charge club to her high school in collaboration with New York University and continues to foster an avid interest in world issues. Sarah has been in the award-winning Model United Nations class at her school since her sophomore year, for which Mr. Shult is the adviser. She currently participates in an internship at the Intrepid Museum, where she previously participated in an enrichment program entitled The Leadership Institute for Today and Tomorrow. "LIFTT has not only opened up an employment opportunity for me my senior year, but it has also allowed me to explore one of my varied interests," Sarah replied.
Sarah continues to remain in touch with her international side, both inside of school and out. She currently sits on the Executive Board for her school’s Muslim Student Association club, and went out to Arusha, Tanzania to volunteer at the Shia Ithnasheri Jamat Hospital in 2012. "Volunteering at the town hospital in Tanzania gave me an insight into the lives of people who aren't as blessed as we are. It not only strengthened my resolve to work with Médecins Sans Frontières, but it also allowed me to reflect upon myself and come back home with a newfound affection for the United Nations and it's programs," stated Sarah.
It is because of her near 100 GPA and outstanding resume of involvement in local and national organizations that helped get Sarah accepted for the prestigious POSSE Scholarship to attend Brandeis University. She found out in December after an extensive competition process that included an interview with parents, and a group interview with other students. She evinces, "I think my drive to make a change powered with the opportunities I've grabbed and my support system -- family, teachers, and friends -- has helped me succeed in life."
Sarah is juggling various activities at the moment, but in addition, she is working to manage everything between extracurricular, college apps, fundraising, school work, friends, and family, but that’s not what Sarah really wants. "What I really would like most is to sleep," she said with a laugh.
History and Model United Nations Teacher Mr. Shult marvels at her willingness to handle all of her commitments and school work. "Sarah is constantly adding new things to her schedule and juggling those activities in a way that allows her to succeed - that is a skill she has mastered. Sleep on the other hand... that's something she needs to work on."
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